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2023 Chemistry Nobel for Trio Who Planted ‘Important Seed for Nanotechnology’

2023 Chemistry Nobel for Trio Who Planted ‘Important Seed for Nanotechnology’

Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov. Photo: Niklas Elmehed/Nobel Institute

What’s the name of the prize?

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023.

Who has won the prize?

Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov.

What have they won the prize for?

For the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots.

In a press release, the Nobel Institute said that the trio planted an important seed for nanotechnology. “The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 rewards the discovery and development of quantum dots, nanoparticles so tiny that their size determines their properties. These smallest components of nanotechnology now spread their light from televisions and LED lamps, and can also guide surgeons when they remove tumour tissue, among many other things,” the press release said.

The Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2023 have succeeded in producing particles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena. The particles, which are called quantum dots, are now of great importance in nanotechnology.

In the early 1980s, Alexei Ekimov succeeded in creating size-dependent quantum effects in coloured glass. The colour came from nanoparticles of copper chloride and Ekimov demonstrated that the particle size affected the colour of the glass via quantum effects.

A few years later, Louis Brus was the first scientist in the world to prove size-dependent quantum effects in particles floating freely in a fluid.

In 1993, Moungi Bawendi revolutionised the chemical production of quantum dots, resulting in almost perfect particles. This high quality was necessary for them to be utilised in applications.

Moungi G. Bawendi was born 1961 in Paris, France. He received a PhD in 1988 from the University of Chicago and is currently a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US.

Louis E. Brus was born 1943 in Cleveland, the US. He received his PhD in 1969 from Columbia University, where is currently a professor.

Alexei I. Ekimov was born in 1945 in the former USSR. He received a PhD in 1974 from the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute in Saint Petersburg. He was formerly the chief scientist at Nanocrystals Technology Inc., New York.

How are they splitting the prize?

The Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said the prize money, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (~Rs 7.52 crore), will be split equally between the three laureates.

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