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Armand Paul Alivisatos, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, will receive the 2017 NAS Award in Chemical Sciences.
Alivisatos is a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology, with work that has had important ramifications for the development of renewable energy, biomedical imaging, light-emitting devices and other fields.
Early in his career, Alivisatos made critical contributions to the development of quantum dots, a new class of materials which became a fundamental building block in nanoscience. This led Alivisatos and his collaborators to apply these discoveries to biomedical imaging and, later, to a new generation of displays and new types of solar cells. His work has also led to innovations in the control of nanocrystals and the graphene liquid cell for use in electron microscopy.
In addition to his own research, Alivisatos played a critical role in the establishment of the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy’s Nanoscale Science Research Center, for which he served as the facility’s founding director, a role he also fulfilled at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He also founded and remains the editor of Nano Letters, a leading scientific publication in nanoscience, and founded multiple companies working in the field of nanotechnology.
The NAS Award in Chemical Sciences is presented annually to honor innovative research in the chemical sciences that contributes to a better understanding of the natural sciences and to the benefit of humanity. The NAS Award in Chemical Sciences was established in 1978 and supported by Occidental Petroleum Corporation from 1978 to 1996. The Merck Company Foundation assumed sponsorship in 1999. The award is presented with a medal and a $15,000 cash prize.