MIT scientist amongst trio to win Nobel Prize in chemistry for his or her work on tiny quantum dots

World Information

Moungi Bawendi, of MIT; Louis Brus, of Columbia College; and Alexei Ekimov, of Nanocrystals Expertise Inc., have been honored for his or her work on quantum dots.

Everlasting Secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences Hans Ellegren, heart, broadcasts the winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, on the Royal Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. The Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to scientists Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexi Ekimov for discovery and synthesis of quantum dots. Claudio Bresciani/TT Information Company through AP

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists gained the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for his or her work on quantum dots — tiny particles that may launch very shiny coloured mild and are utilized in electronics and medical imaging.

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Moungi Bawendi, of MIT; Louis Brus, of Columbia College; and Alexei Ekimov, of Nanocrystals Expertise Inc., have been honored for his or her work with the particles only a few atoms in diameter and that “have distinctive properties and now unfold their mild from tv screens and LED lamps,” in keeping with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which introduced the award in Stockholm.

“They catalyze chemical reactions and their clear mild can illuminate tumor tissue for a surgeon,” the academy mentioned.

Quantum dots’ electrons have constrained motion, and this impacts how they take in and launch seen mild, permitting for very shiny colours.

In a extremely uncommon leak, Swedish media reported the names of the winners earlier than the prize was introduced.

“There was a press launch despatched out for nonetheless unknown causes. We now have been very energetic this morning to seek out out precisely what occurred,” Hans Ellegren, the secretary-general of the academy, instructed the information convention the place the award was introduced. “That is very unlucky, we do remorse what occurred.”

The academy, which awards the physics, chemistry and economics prizes, asks for nominations a yr prematurely from hundreds of college professors and different students around the globe.

A committee for every prize then discusses candidates in a collection of conferences all year long. On the finish of the method, the committee presents a number of proposals to the complete academy for a vote. The deliberations, together with the names of nominees apart from the winners, are saved confidential for 50 years.

Ekimov, 78, and Brus, 80, are early pioneers of the expertise, whereas Bawendi, 62, is credited with revolutionizing the manufacturing of quantum dots “leading to virtually good particles. This prime quality was mandatory for them to be utilized in purposes,” the academy mentioned.

Bawendi instructed the information convention that he was “very stunned, sleepy, shocked, sudden and really honored.”

“The group realized the implications within the mid 90s, that there may doubtlessly be some actual world purposes,” Bawendi mentioned.

Requested concerning the leak, he mentioned he didn’t know concerning the prize till he was known as by the academy.

On Tuesday, the physics prize went to French-Swedish physicist Anne L’Huillier, French scientist Pierre Agostini and Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz for producing the primary split-second glimpse into the superfast world of spinning electrons.

On Monday, Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman gained the Nobel Prize in medication for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines towards COVID-19.

The chemistry prize means Nobel season has reached its midway stage. The prizes in literature, peace and economics observe, with one announcement each weekday till Oct. 9.

The Nobel Basis raised the prize cash by 10% this yr to 11 million kronor (about $1 million). Along with the cash, winners obtain an 18-carat gold medal and diploma after they acquire their Nobel Prizes on the award ceremonies in December.

Corder reported from The Hague, Netherlands.