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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Laureates  

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Emilio Méndez Pérez and Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiríbar

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 1998

The experimental discovery of the so-called "Stark scales" and the first studies into the effect of "resonant tunnelling" are this award recipient´s main contributions.

Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiríbar

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Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiribar (Isaba, Navarra 1950) is a full professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of the Basque Country. He began teaching at the University of Barcelona in 1978, leaving in 1980 to dedicate himself to politics. For four years he was the spokesperson and director of Education for the Basque Government. In 1984 he resumed his research activities at the University of Cambridge.

Echenique has centred his research on explaining, using mathematical and computer models, the behaviour of the particles that make up solid bodies and their interaction with external loaded particle beams. Specifically, he has demonstrated the energy losses experienced by electrons according to the distance that separates them from a surface or solid interface. This discovery has been key in understanding what occurs in the scanning tunnelling microscope discovered by Binning and Rochrer, for which they received the Nobel Prize for Physics. Honorary Member of the American Physics Society, Echenique has been the recipient of diverse honours, standing out among which are the "Euskadi" for Research and the "DuPont" for Science.

Emilio Méndez Pérez

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Emilio Méndez (Lérida, Spain, 1949) received his PhD in Physical Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Full professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the State University of New York and director of this university´s Interface Phenomena Institute, he is the author of six patents for microelectronic devices. Méndez, who has carried out important research at IBM´s Thomas J. Watson Institute, is a one-time collaborator of Leo Esaki, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.

His research has focused on analysing the problems arising in the fabrication and characterisation of solid bodies used in high- technology processes. He has also studied the electronic and optoelectronic properties of semiconductor materials, and his findings on the effects of an electric field on the electronic properties of quantal wells and supernetworks, in addition to the experimental demonstration of the "Stark effect" on quantal wells, are particularly noteworthy.

Honorary Member of the American Physics Society, Emilio Méndez sits on the editorial board of Solid State Communications and Semiconductor Science and Technology magazines, and he has been the director of several NATO-sponsored courses on physics and semiconductor applications.

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