Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > Chemist wins national award for contributions in surface chemistry

Gabor A. Somorjai, 2008 Priestley Award winner.

Credit: Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Gabor A. Somorjai, 2008 Priestley Award winner.
Credit: Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Gabor A. Somorjai, Ph.D., has been chosen to receive the 2008 Priestley Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), for his contributions to surface science and catalysis for more than 40 years. ACS is the world's largest scientific society.

Chemist wins national award for contributions in surface chemistry

Berkeley, CA | Posted on April 2nd, 2008

Surface science is the study of physical and chemical events that occur at the boundary between different materials, such as solids, liquids, and gases. Its many applications include the development of catalysts, which speed up the chemical reactions vital for production of gasoline, plastics, medicines, and other products.

Somorjai will receive the award April 8 during a special event at the Society's spring national meeting, held April 6-10 in New Orleans. A professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, Somorjai has been a pioneer in the study of surfaces and surface phenomena, which has in turn impacted various other disciplines, including physical chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, materials science and nanoscience.

Since becoming a professor at UC-Berkeley in the mid-1960s, he has studied structure, bonding, and reactivity on the molecular level of solid surfaces. His use and development of novel techniques, such as low-energy electron diffraction surface crystallography and high-pressure tunneling microscopy, has led to an array of findings that have driven the development of surface science.

Somorjai is the author of three textbooks and more than 900 scientific papers in the realms of surface chemistry and catalysis. His research has generated thousands of worldwide publications over the past 40 years, and the study of surface phenomena and heterogeneous catalysis has become one of the most active fields in solid state physical chemistry.

"I am pleased to see the growth of surface chemistry in the American Chemical Society," Somorjai said. "When I was the Chair of the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry in 1976, there were 130 surface chemistry papers presented. At the last meeting in Boston there were 630 papers presented. The ACS and its national meetings reflect the ever-changing directions and breadth of the discipline as well as the world-class science of the United States and of the international chemistry community."

Born in 1935 in Budapest, Hungary, Somorjai survived Nazi rule in 1944 with the help of a Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, who offered his family a house under Swedish protection. He fled Budapest in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution to Austria and arrived the following year in the United States, where he enrolled at UC-Berkeley and earned a doctorate in 1960. After a few years working with IBM Research in New York, Somorjai joined the faculty at Berkeley in July 1964. He was later appointed University Professor across the 10-campus University of California system by the University of California Board of Regents in 2002.

Among Somorjai's professional honors are the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, presented by the American Chemical Society in 1989; the Wolf Prize in 1998; the ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis in 2000 and the National Medal of Science in 2002.

The Priestley Medal is an annual award named for Joseph Priestley, who reported the discovery of oxygen in 1774. Since 1923, the American Chemical Society has recognized groundbreaking chemists with the award. The first Priestley Medal went to Ira Remsen, the chemist credited with bringing laboratory research to American universities.


About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society — the world’s largest scientific society — is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, please click here

Michael Bernstein


Copyright © American Chemical Society

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

NanoScience: Giants of the Infinitesimal July 31st, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 30th, 2014

Nanometrics Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results July 30th, 2014


Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014


Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

NanoScience: Giants of the Infinitesimal July 31st, 2014

Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014

FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research July 30th, 2014


New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 25th, 2014

Hysitron is Awarded TWO R&D 100 Awards for Highly Innovative Technology Developments in the Areas of Extreme Environments and Biological Mechanical Property Testing July 23rd, 2014

Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014

EPFL Research on the use of AFM based nanoscale IR spectroscopy for the study of single amyloid molecules wins poster competition at Swiss Physics Society meeting July 22nd, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE