Paul Alivisatos wins Wolf prize in chemistry

Paul Alivisatos wins Wolf prize in chemistry

11:40 PM, 26th January 2012
Paul Alivisatos wins Wolf prize in chemistry
Paul Alivisatos, Director of the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

CALIFORNIA, US: Paul Alivisatos, Director of the US Department of Energy ’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Larry, University of California, Berkeley and Diane Bock, Professor, Nanotechnology, University of California, Berkeley has won the prestigious Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry for 2012. Alivisatos is an internationally recognized authority on nanochemistry and a pioneer in synthesis of semiconductor quantum dots and multi-shaped artificial nanostructures. He shares this year’s Wolf Prize in Chemistry with fellow nanoscience expert Charles Lieber of Harvard University.

The Wolf Foundation, which is based in Israel, has been recognizing outstanding scientists and artists annually since 1978. The Wolf Foundation Prize, which is awarded in the scientific fields of agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine and physics, and in a variety of the arts, consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $100,000. The citation on Alivisatos’ chemistry prize credits him for his development of the colloidal inorganic nanocrystal as a building block of nanoscience and for making fundamental contributions to controlling the synthesis of these particles, to measure and understand their physical properties, and to utilize their unique properties for applications ranging from light generation and harvesting to biological imaging.

Alivisatos is widely recognized as the man who demonstrated that semiconductor nanocrystals can be grown into two-dimensional rods and other shapes as opposed to spheres. This achievement paved the way for a slew of new applications including biomedical diagnostics, revolutionary photovoltaic cells and LED materials. He also demonstrated key applications of nanocrystals in biological imaging and renewable energy. Prior to his research, all non-metal nanocrystals were dot-shaped, meaning they were essentially one-dimensional.

Alivisatos’ affiliation with Berkeley Lab began in 1991 when he joined the staff of the Materials Sciences Division. He rose to become director of that division in 2002, a position he held for six years. In 2001 he was named to head a new US Department of Energy centre for nanoscience called the Molecular Foundry, which is hosted at Berkeley Lab. He continued to direct research at the Foundry until 2005. From 2005 to 2007 he served as Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Science.

The many awards and recognitions Alivisatos has received for his science include the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Eni Italgas Prize for Energy and Environment, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics Award, the Wilson Prize, the Coblentz Award for Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy, and the US Department of Energy’s Award for Sustained Outstanding Research in Materials Chemistry and Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry. In addition, Alivisatos has held fellowships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

© Berkeley laboratory News

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