The 2008 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes, named in honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experimental work and the other for theory in advances in nanotechnology.
"This year we honor major advances in both understanding and building of nanoscale structures," said Christine Peterson, President of Foresight Institute. "This work moves us forward on the path to systems of complex, atomically-precise molecular machinery."
Winning in the Experimental category for 2008 is James M. Tour of Rice University for the Synthesis of Nanocars. Prof. Tour has published more than 330 research articles in fields including molecular electronics, chemical self-assembly, carbon nanotube modification and composite formation, and synthesis of molecular motors and nanocars. The synthesis and testing of nanocars and other molecular machines is providing critical insight in investigations of bottom-up molecular manufacturing. His work on nanocars has involved molecular building blocks that include electro- or photoactive functionality, and he has investigated the synergistic effects of combining functional molecular building blocks.
This year's winner in the Theory category, George C. Schatz of Northwestern University, has made outstanding theoretical contributions to nanofabrication and sensing. Prof. Schatz has published three books and more than 500 journal articles in theoretical and computational chemistry. In particular, he is cited first for sophisticated modeling and optimization of the dip pen nanolithography method of nanofabrication, and second, for his explanation of plasmon effects in metallic nanodots. The impact of this theoretical work on nanofabrication and single molecule sensing and characterization is leading toward molecular machine systems.
The 2008 finalists for the Experimental prize are:
The 2008 Finalists for the Theory prize are:
Two prizes in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman's goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. Separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work.
This prize is given in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said "The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developed — a development which I think cannot be avoided."
A committee chaired by a previous Feynman Prize recipient will be asked to select this year's honorees.
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