Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS

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 position

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

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

Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS
Elected 1993