Skip to content


Fellows Directory

Richard Friend

Richard Friend

Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS


Elected: 1993


Richard Friend is a physicist and engineer who has pioneered the understanding of the electronic properties of semiconductors made from organic materials. His work with carbon-based polymers represents the foundation of a new type of electronics, which is now used in a wide range of commercial technologies. His current research interests include the fundamental electronic processes involved in charge photogeneration in molecular semiconductors.

Richard has always taken a keen interest in the commercialisation of his research, and has been involved with numerous businesses designing and manufacturing polymer semiconductors, with applications such as light-emitting diodes, solar cells and thin film transistor circuits. He is the recipient of several awards for science and engineering, and in 2003 received a knighthood for his services to physics.

Professional positions

Cavendish Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Engineering, semiconductors


  • Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture

    On 'Plastic fantastic; electronics for the 21st Century. The lecture can be viewed from the Video Library'.

  • King Faisal International Prize

    In the field of physics.

  • Rumford Medal

    In recognition of his leading research in the development of polymer-based electronics and optoelectronics leading to a very rapid growth of development activities aimed at plastic electronic displays, with advantages of very low cost, flexibility, and th

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.