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Tatiana Novikova laureate of the 2020 SPIE G.G. Stokes Award

Researcher at the Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films, Tatiana Novikova is the winner of the G.G. Stokes Award from the international society of optics and photonics SPIE. This prize rewards her research in optics, in particular the study of the propagation of polarized light through the atmosphere and biological tissues.

The SPIE G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization is presented for exceptional contribution to the field of optical polarization. This year, the winner is Tatiana Novikova, researcher at the Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films* in which she heads the research group of Applied optics and polarimetry.

Tatiana Novikova's current research focuses on computational optics of polarized light, Mueller polarimetry and applications in biomedical engineering, for target detection in turbid environments and for metrology in microelectronics. She is particularly interested in the interaction of polarized electromagnetic waves with complex materials and the resulting medical applications. The methods that she is developing on the transmission of polarized light through biological tissues can in particular lead to the non-invasive diagnosis of cancers.

Indeed, polarization is one of the optical properties which provides information on the orientation of oscillations of the electromagnetic waves of light. This polarization depends both on the way light is emitted (Sun, lamp, laser, etc.), but also on the media it crosses which modify these oscillations. This phenomenon is used for many applications, from stress studies in materials to passive glasses in 3D cinema.

By studying this property of light through heterogeneous media such as the atmosphere, multilayer microelectronics chips or biological tissues, Tatiana Novikova's work allows both to model the behavior of polarization, but also to measure variations in order to achieve, for example, the evaluation of lithography performance or screening for cervical cancer.

The Prize is a fitting result for a work on polarization carried out in LPICM during last 30 years under leadership of Bernard Drevillon, then Antonello de Martino and currently continued in the group of Tatiana Novikova. This prize, awarded by the scientific community of polarized optics to Tatiana Novikova, is a recognition of the innovative character of her fundamental and applied research carried out at the École Polytechnique.

*A joint research unit CNRS/École Polytechnique - IP Paris