Richard H. Friend University of Cambridge

Richard H. Friend University of Cambridge

Professor Sir Richard Friend

Professor Sir Richard Friend

Sir Richard Henry Friend (born 18 January 1953) FRS FREng is Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. Friend’s research concerns the physics and engineering of carbon-based semiconductors.


Friend was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining a PhD in 1979.


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 also 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 over 600 publications and more than 20 patents.  Friend’s research has been used to develop flat panel displays and future screens that can be rolled and transported.

Personal life

Friend is married to Carol Anne Maxwell (née Beales) with whom he has two daughters. His brother Peter Friend is a professor of transplantation and director of the Oxford Transplant Centre.

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.

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

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