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Henri Lezec (Fed)

Henri Lezec is a NIST Fellow and Project Leader in the Photonics and Optomechancis Group of the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) at NIST. He received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Following postdoctoral research at NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories in Tsukuba, Japan, he worked as an applications specialist for Micrion and FEI Corporations in both Germany and in the USA. He subsequently worked as as Associate Faculty Member and Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France, and as Visiting Research Associate at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

He has investigated a broad range of topics associated with the interaction of light with nanoscale structures. He is widely known for his research observing and explaining how plasmons can control the propagation of light through nanoscale apertures, and for creating and measuring metamaterials (materials that have a negative refractive index). His research in the PML focuses on nanoplasmonics, nanophotonics, and nanofabrication with focused ion beams; he is currently leading projects in the areas of visible and ultraviolet frequency metamaterials and metasurfaces, and well as exploring fundamental mechanisms and practical applications of optical forces on metals.

Lezec is a prolific writer of important publications and a sought-after invited speaker. He has published over 150 papers, including three letters in Nature and five in Science. His papers have an h-index of 50 and have been cumulatively cited over 28,000 times, with 5 papers receiving more than 1000 citations, and another 33 receiving over 100 citations. He has 43 granted patents, including 18 U.S. patents. His work has been recognized with a fellowship in the Optical Society of America in 2010, and with the award of the prestigious Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics in 2011.

Selected Programs/Projects

Selected Publications

  • Diffracted Evanescent Wave Model for Enhanced and Supressed Optical Transmission through Subwavelength Hole Arrays, H. J. Lezec and T. Thio, Optics Express 12(16), 3629 (2004).
  • Beaming Light from a Subwavelength Aperture, H. J. Lezec, A. Degiron, E. Devaux, R. A. Linke, L. Martin-Moreno, F. J. Garcia-Vidal, and T. W. Ebbesen, Science 297(5582), 820 (2002).
  • Negative Refraction at Visible Frequencies, H. J. Lezec, J. A. Dionne, and H. A. Atwater, Science 316(5823), 430 (2007). 
  • All-optical Modulation by Plasmonic Excitation of CdSe Quantum Dots, D. Pacifici, H. J. Lezec, and H. A. Atwater, Nature Photonics 1(7), 402 (2007).
  • All-angle negative refraction and active flat lensing of ultraviolet light, T. Xu, A. Agrawal, M. Abashin, and H.J. Lezec, Nature 497,470 (2013)


Patents (2018-Present)


NIST Inventors
Vladimir Aksyuk and Henri Lezec
patent description Compact and energy-efficient programmable optical networks (PON) have the potentialto extend current electrical information processing networks by new and unique functionalities such as optical neural networks used for pattern recognition at the speed of light (e.g. cancer


NIST Inventors
Henri Lezec , Amit Agrawal , Wenqi Zhu and Jessie Zhang
patent description The ultraviolet (UV) range (wavelength of light: 200 nm to 400 nm) is a technologically important spectral regime hosting diverse applications such as photolithography, high-resolution imaging, spectroscopy, quantum optics, atomic trapping, etc. Current technology for manipulating
Slide showing text explaining the benefits of the technology described in patent 10,720,993

Metasurface Optical Pulse Shaper for Shaping an Optical Pulse in a Temporal Domain

NIST Inventors
Henri Lezec , Amit Agrawal and Wenqi Zhu
Patent Description Ultrafast laser pulse shaping is a well-developed field with available commercial products. Typically, the amplitude, phase or polarization of the light is controlled by placing a spatial light modulator (SLM) at the focus of the first mirror, in a technique known as Fourier
Created July 30, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022