2012 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 13 May 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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Paul Alivisatos (left), University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Charles Lieber (right), Harvard University, USA, have been awarded the 2012 Wolf Prize. The prize is awarded annually in the fields of Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, and Arts to people who have made contributions for the benefit of mankind and it is often seen as an indicator for potential Nobel Prize winners. It is presented by the President of the State of Israel, in this case H. E. Shimon Peres, at a ceremony at the Knesset (Israel´s Parliament), in Jerusalem.
The Wolf Prize awarding ceremony will take place Sunday, May 13, 5 pm.

The Laureates will be giving talks at several academic institutes and universities, e.g. on May 14, 2012, at Tel Aviv University, Israel; and will be meeting with high school students and undergrads that have excelled in sciences.


Alivisatos and Lieber receive the award for their contributions to the field of nanochemistry. Alivisatos is a pioneer in the synthesis of semiconductor quantum dots and demonstrated that semiconductor nanocrystals can be grown into two-dimensional rods and other shapes in addition to the traditional spheres. Lieber is known for the characterization of the unique physical properties of nanoscale materials, and the development of hierarchical assembly methods for nanoscale wires, which have found use in nanoelectronics, nanocomputing, biological and chemical sensing, neurobiology, and nanophotonics.


Paul Alivisatos studied chemistry at the University of Chicago, USA, and gained his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, USA, in 1986. He joined AT&T Bell Labs, New Jersey, USA, as a post-doctoral fellow, then returned to Berkeley in 1988 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and full professor in 1995. He is currently director of the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the UC Berkeley’s Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology.


Charles Lieber studied chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, and gained his Ph.D. from Stanford University, California, USA. He carried out postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology, USA, before joining the faculty at Columbia University, New York, USA, as an assistant professor. In 1991, he moved to Harvard University, Boston, USA, where he holds the Mark Hyman Chair of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and a joint appointment within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Selected Publications by P. Alivisatos:

Selected Publications by C. Lieber:

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