A "truly outstanding" professor will lead a new research laboratory at Cardiff University.
Diana Huffaker, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will become chairwoman in advanced engineering and materials.
She is the fourth appointment in the Welsh government's £50m Ser Cymru scheme.
Prof Huffaker's laboratory will research nanotechnology to be used in a range of devices.
Prof Huffaker is an expert in compound semiconductors - the technology behind devices including smart phones and computer tablets.
She also hopes to attract other researchers to the university from around Europe to use the facilities - and help to develop products for business.
She said: "My research vision is to bring the promise of nanoscale physics to collect and transmit information using light with exquisite speed and sensitivity.
"With the Ser Cymru investment, I shall build an extensive user facility for materials and nanostructure synthesis not currently available in UK."
The university's vice-chancellor, Prof Colin Riordan, added: "Prof Diana Huffaker is a truly outstanding researcher, with a record of research excellence in areas of global impact and strategic importance not only to Cardiff University, but also to Wales."
Minister for economy and science, Edwina Hart, said Prof Huffaker brings "a wealth of knowledge and expertise".