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Richard Friend

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Richard Friend
Friend in Finland in 2010
Richard Henry Friend

(1953-01-18) 18 January 1953 (age 71)[6]
Alma mater
Known for
SpouseCarol Anne Maxwell (née Beales)[6]
Scientific career
ThesisTransport properties and lattice instabilities in one and two dimensional metals (1979)
Doctoral advisor
  • Abraham Yoffe[2]
  • Denis Jérome[3]
Doctoral studentsHenry Snaith[4][5]
Ana Claudia Arias
Anna Köhler (scientist)

Sir Richard Henry Friend FRS HonFInstP FREng[1] (born 18 January 1953) is a British physicist who was the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1995 until 2020[7] and is Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. Friend's research concerns the physics and engineering of carbon-based semiconductors.[8] He also serves as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore.[9]



Friend was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge,[6] gaining a PhD in 1979 under the supervision of Abe Yoffe.[10]



Friend's research has been applied to development of polymer field effect transistors, light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic diodes, optically pumped lasing and directly printed polymer transistors. He pioneered the study of organic polymers and the electronic properties of molecular semiconductors. He is one of the principal investigators in the new Cambridge-based Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) on nanotechnology and co-founder of Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) and Plastic Logic. Friend has co-authored over 1,000 publications.[11][12]

Awards and honours


In March 2003 Friend won the IEE's Faraday Medal. He was knighted for "services to physics" in the 2003 Birthday Honours.

Friend received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2006[13]

In 2009, Friend was awarded the Institute of Physics Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize with Dr David Ffye.[14]

In 2010, Friend was elected as one of the three laureates of Millennium Technology Prize for the development of plastic electronics.[15]

In 2011 he was awarded the Harvey Prize of the Technion in Israel.[16] He is a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2002.

In 2013, Friend was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to science, engineering, and commercialization of organic polymer semiconductor devices.

His nomination for the Royal Society reads:

Distinguished for his experimental study of the electronic properties of novel materials, principally organic materials, both semiconductors and metals, and inorganic materials with "low-dimensional" electronic structure, including layer structure transition metal dichalcogenides and cuprate superconductors. He established the pressure/temperature phase diagrams for transition metal dichalcogenides, showing conditions for CDW (Charge Density Wave) phases and superconducting phases in TaS2, band crossing transition in TiS2 intercalation of transition metal dichalcogenides with various Lewis bases (alkali metals, amines), and use of controlled charge transfer to the host layer to fine-tune electronic structure to establish conditions for CDW superlattice formation, and mechanisms for charge transport. He has made a major contribution to understanding the conditions for metallic, superconducting, magnetic and insulating ground states in organic charge transfer salts. Established the pressure/temperature phase diagram for the incommensurate and commensurate Charge Density Wave phases of TTF-TCNQ. He made the first observations of de Haas van Alphen oscillations in magnetic susceptibility in an organic metal. He and his group has developed polymer processing techniques for conjugated polymers, and demonstrated non-linear electronic excitations through electrical and optical measurements. First construction of MOSFET (Metal Insulator Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) with polyacetylene as active semiconductor, and demonstration of novel mechanism of operation, with novel behaviour and made the first construction of efficient, large area, polymeric semi-conductor LED's (Light Emitting Diodes), based on polyphenylene-vinylene.[17]

Personal life


Friend lives in Cambridge with his wife, Carol Anne Maxwell (née Beales) with whom he has two daughters.[6]

His brother,[18] Peter, is a professor of transplantation and director of the Oxford Transplant Centre.


  1. ^ a b "List of Fellows".
  2. ^ Richard Friend at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b c Alan Macfarlane. "Interview of Sir Richard Friend". Cambridge University.
  4. ^ Snaith, H. J.; Arias, A. C.; Morteani, A. C.; Silva, C.; Friend, R. H. (2002). "Charge Generation Kinetics and Transport Mechanisms in Blended Polyfluorene Photovoltaic Devices". Nano Letters. 2 (12): 1353. Bibcode:2002NanoL...2.1353S. doi:10.1021/nl0257418.
  5. ^ Snaith, Henry James (2005). Polymer based photovoltaic diodes (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 890157906.
  6. ^ a b c d e "FRIEND, Sir Richard (Henry)". Who's Who. Vol. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ "Special Guest Editorial" (PDF). Cavmag. No. 25. May 2020. pp. 3–4.
  8. ^ "Professor Sir Richard Friend". Optoelectronics group, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge
  9. ^ "Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC)". www.nrf.gov.sg.
  10. ^ Friend, Richard Henry (1979). Transport properties and lattice instabilities in one and two dimensional metals (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  11. ^ noedit publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  12. ^ Richard Friend's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Annual Review 2006 : People, Honours and Awards". www1.hw.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  14. ^ "2009 Business and Innovation medal". Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Professor Sir Richard Friend: Developer of plastic electronics". Millennium Prize. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  16. ^ Harvey Prize 2011 Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "EC/1993/12: Friend, Richard Henry. Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014.
  18. ^ "EPSRC Council Members Declarations of Interest 2015/16" p4