Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of so-called quantum dots. Researchers working in the USA laid important foundations for this area of nanotechnology in the 1980s and 1990s, as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced.
Quantum dots are used, among other things, in modern screens, LED lamps and also in tumor surgery. The structures, also known as artificial atoms, are tiny and have very unique physical properties. They are interesting for use in so-called optoelectronics, for example in displays, photovoltaic systems and quantum computers.
French-born Bawendi works at the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US researcher Brus at Columbia University and Russian-born Ekimov at the company Nanocrystals Technology.
Advance media reports about award winners
Before the award ceremony, experts had suggested that research in synthetic biology or DNA sequencing could be honored – the three prize winners were not considered favorites. However, their names were already leaked hours before the official announcement. However, the spokeswoman for the Swedish Academy of Sciences then assured that the decision had not yet been made.
Last year, US researchers Carolyn Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless and Dane Morten Meldal were awarded the Nobel Prize for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. The Nobel Prize is endowed with eleven million Swedish crowns (around 950,000 euros) and will be awarded on December 10th in Stockholm.
The Nobel Prize season started on Monday with the announcement of the winners for medicine. The prize winners in the field of physics followed yesterday, including the Hungarian-Austrian physicist Ferenc Krausz, who researches in Munich. The Nobel Prize for Literature follows tomorrow, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the award for economics on Monday.