Federico Capasso is currently the Robert Wallace Professor of applied physics with Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, which he joined in 2003 after 27 years at Bell Labs, where he rose from a Postdoctoral Researcher to the VP of Physical Research. He pioneered bandgap engineering of semiconductors, including the invention of the quantum cascade laser, and the field of flat optics with metasurfaces. He carried out high-precision measurements of the Casimir force with micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and the first measurement of the repulsive Casimir–Lifshitz force. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the recipient of the Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society, the Balzan Prize for Applied Photonics, the King Faisal Prize for Science, the IEEE Edison Medal, the APS Arthur Schawlow Prize, the OSA Wood Prize, the SPIE Gold Medal, the Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Franklin Institute Wetherill Medal, and the Materials Research Society Medal.