Prof. Israel Bar-Joseph was born in Israel in 1953. He graduated with a BSc in Physics from Tel Aviv University (1979), and an MSc (1982) and PhD (1986) in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, with honors. He then spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scientist at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. In 1989, he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is the incumbent of the Jane and Otto Morningstar Professorial Chair of Physics.
Prof. Bar-Joseph served in a variety of scientific management positions at the Institute: Director of the Braun Center for Submicron Research, Head of Physics Services (1997-2002), Head of the Condensed Matter Physics Department (2002-2006); and is a member of the board of Yeda, the Weizmann Institute’s technology transfer arm (2001-2006). In 2004, he was appointed director of the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger Center for Nanophysics. Since 2006, he has served as the Weizmann Institute’s Vice President for Resource Development, and since 2007 he has served as Dean of Educational Activities.
Prof. Bar-Joseph’s main research fields are nanophysics and electro-optics of semiconductors. He focuses on the manufacture and study of ultra-small semiconductor structures, less than one thousandth of a millimeter in size. He uses gallium arsenide, the semiconductor that is gradually replacing silicon in high-speed electronic devices, and the tools of optical spectroscopy to clarify the behavior of electrons in modern transistors. He also studies molecular electronics, pursuing the manipulation of small organic molecules to build molecular electronic circuits. Using an innovative, “bottom-up” approach, he is employing a variety of methods to attach and position electrical contacts on a tiny molecular circuit. These studies provide the fundamental basis for the development of brand new technologies that will shape our life in the future.
He is the recipient of the 1985 Kennedy Prize, the 1989 Alon Fellowship and the 1994 Levinson Prize in physics. He has served as a member of the editorial boards of leading journals such as Physical Review Letters and Semiconductor Science and Technology. He was a member and chairman of the board of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and a member of several government committees on science education.