Dr. A. Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and Samsung Distinguished Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research at the University of California, Berkeley and founding director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute, is the 2019 recipient of the F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research named for one of the most honored faculty members in Texas A&M University history.
The medal is jointly awarded each year by the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry and the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in tribute to Dr. Albert Cotton, a Texas A&M distinguished professor of chemistry widely considered one of the world’s foremost inorganic chemists who passed away on February 20, 2007. He was the inaugural recipient of the medal when it was first awarded in 1995.
Alivisatos will be honored at an afternoon symposium set for Friday, March 22, in Texas A&M’s Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building auditorium. In addition to Alivisatos’ 4 p.m. keynote presentation, “Nanocrystals as a Fundamental Building Block of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies,” the event will feature talks by Texas A&M chemist Dong Hee Son at 2 p.m. and University of Texas at Austin chemist Delia Milliron at 2:45 p.m. The symposium will be followed by an invitation-only dinner, at which Alivisatos will be presented with the Cotton Medal.
Inorganic nanocrystals have emerged as an important building block of nanoscience. It is possible today to control the size, shape, connectivity and topology of nanocrystals — tiny crystals that exhibit strongly site-dependent properties, according to basic scaling laws of nanoscience. This predictable control gives scientists like Alivisatos the ability to purposefully design new materials with beneficial applications in biological imaging and renewable energy. His March 22 talk at Texas A&M will emphasize recent work in which nanocrystals are deployed for energy storage and solar energy conversion systems.
Alivisatos, who also holds professorial appointments in chemistry and materials science and engineering at Berkeley, received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1981 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1986. He played a critical part in establishing the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Center, serving as the facility’s founding director. He is the director emeritus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, founding director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute (ENSI) and the founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys Inc. and Quantum Dot Corp, now part of Life Technologies. He also is the founding editor of the American Chemical Society nanoscience journal Nano Letters.
Groundbreaking contributions to the fundamental physical chemistry of nanocrystals are the hallmarks of Alivisatos’ scientific career. His research accomplishments include studies of the scaling laws governing the optical, electrical, structural and thermodynamic properties of nanocrystals. He developed methods to synthesize size- and shape-controlled nanocrystals as well as techniques for preparing branched, hollow, nested and segmented nanocrystals. In his research, he has demonstrated key applications of nanocrystals in biological imaging, renewable energy and electronic displays, including the widely used quantum dot television technology.
Alivisatos is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Inventors. His many previous awards include the Dan David Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Spiers Memorial Award, the Axion Award, the Von Hippel Award, the Linus Pauling Medal, Computation and Engineering’s Nanoscience Prize, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, the Eni Award for Energy and Environment, the Colloid and Surface Chemistry Award, the Coblentz Award for Molecular Spectroscopy and the Thomas Wilson Memorial Prize.
“Paul Alivisatos is the embodiment of what the Cotton Medal honors as an expert administrator, consummate colleague, unparalleled mentor for generations of leading international researchers, and foremost, one of the most accomplished and visionary scientists working on the most important challenges in modern science,” said Texas A&M chemist Dr. Matthew Sheldon, a former graduate student with Alivisatos who earned his Ph.D. as a member of Alivisatos’ laboratory in 2010. “Beyond all this, Paul is generous with his time, humble and communicates his deep understanding in simple and compelling terms. He lifts up everyone he works with and sets an example for the entire scientific community. The audience should be prepared for an awesome award lecture!”
Cotton came to Texas A&M as the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University in 1972 from MIT, where at age 31 in 1961, he had become the youngest MIT faculty member to attain the rank of full professor. His pioneering 35-year career at Texas A&M revolutionized several fields of chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, protein chemistry, structural chemistry and chemical bonding. Cotton was the originator of and leading authority in the field of compounds containing single and multiple bonds between metal atoms. His other principal contributions dealt with protein structure, spectroscopic studies of metal carbonyls, and the dynamic behavior of fluxional organometallic and metal carbonyl compounds.
For more information about the event, contact Texas A&M Chemistry at (979) 845-9829 or via email at email@example.com.
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