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 He was educated mainly in the United States and France, receiving his PhD in 1980 from the Curie University in Paris.
 Over the past twenty years, he has done research in both public and private institutions, in the US and in Japan, before returning to France in 1999 to build a new laboratory at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg where he is currently a professor. His current research is focused on understanding how light can squeeze through tiny holes which has numerous consequences for opto-electronics, optical communication and related fields.


He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science.


The author of many paper and patents, Ebbesen has received awards for his pioneering research on nanostructured material including the Agilent Europhysics Prize.