Jay Guo receives Wise-Najafi Prize

Prof. Guo’s research in the miniature world is being commercialized by two different companies he co-founded, and has also been licensed to a third company.

Prof. Jay Guo received the 2022-23 Wise-Najafi Prize for Engineering Excellence in the Miniature World, which recognizes outstanding research at the meso-scale and smaller. 

Guo’s broad research interests include nanophotonics and structural colors, organic and hybrid photovoltaics and photodetectors, nanomanufacturing technologies, silicon nanoelectronics, and nanofluidic devices. His innovations have led to lasting contributions in high-throughput nanopatterning, polymer based photonic devices and sensors, structural colors, optical based ultrasound detectors and photoacoustic lens transducers. 

“Prof. Guo’s passion with micro- and nanotechnology, his vision, and his innovations have allowed him to make vital and lasting contributions to several important fields,” said colleague Steve Forrest, Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering.

One of Guo’s key innovations has been in scalable roll-to-roll (R2R) nanoimprint technology. Many companies around the world have advanced this technology for commercial applications. It is poised to become a key nanomanufacturing process that will impact the display, solid state lighting, and biotech industries. As a result, he has been recognized with the Nanoimprint Pioneer Award.

Guo further developed R2R nanoimprint technology to include roll-based fabrication of optical metamaterials, flexible organic solar cells and OLEDs, and other continuous-based patterning technologies. In recent years his group also explored nanopatterning based on plasmonic and metamaterials structures  that exceed the conventional optical resolution limit, reaching only a fraction of the wavelength. 

Guo is strongly motivated to exploit the practical applications of his research. Author of over 20 U.S. patents, he has licensed his technology, and co-founded two of his own companies.

As co-founder of Zenithnano, he is commercializing a flexible nano-transparent conductive film. Practical applications include flexible displays as well as large format interactive displays for teaching and conferencing. 

As co-founder of Inlight, he is commercializing his research related to the fabrication of synthetic or structural colors. His group recently developed a deep learning algorithm to allow automatic inverse design given a target color spectrum. Using this approach, his team demonstrated a popular chrome color using just a few layers of materials each of tens of nanometers thick, which completely eliminates the hazardous chrome plating process used in industry.

Guo sits on the editorial board of Advanced Optical Materials, and Opto-Electronics Science, and was an Associate Editor of Optica. He has received EECS outstanding achievement award, the Monroe-Brown Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering, and was a William Mong Distinguished Lecturer at Hong Kong University. 

In addition to his primary appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Guo is affiliated with the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Macromolecular Science & Engineering, and the Applied Physics program.

About the award

First awarded in 2019, the Wise-Najafi Prize for Engineering Excellence in the Miniature World was named after Prof. Kendall D. Wise and Prof. Khalil Najafi. It recognizes outstanding research at the meso-scale, micron-scale, nanoscale, and beyond, particularly research that demonstrates exceptional creativity in miniaturization. It is the only CoE award open to anyone in the University, and was endowed by an anonymous ECE/MEMS program alumnus and his spouse.