Foresight Nanotech Institute, the leading think tank and public interest organization focused on nanotechnology, awarded prizes to leaders in research, communication, government and study in the field of nanotechnology at the 13th Foresight Conference Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on the Cutting Edge. Over 100 influential scientists, researchers and nanotechnology professionals gathered to honor the recipients of these prestigious awards at the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Awards Banquet on October 26, 2005.
The 2005 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes, named in honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, were presented to Drs. Christian Schafmeister and Christian Joachim. The Foresight Prize in Communication was presented to nanotechnology website editor Rocky Rawstern. Congressman Mike Honda (D-California) was presented with the inaugural award of the Foresight Government Prize. Graduate student Christopher Levins received the Foresight Distinguished Student Award.
"The Foresight Nanotech Institute awards are the premier prizes in nanotechnology. In alignment with our mission, we recognize researchers, students, journalists and governmental officials who work to advance beneficial nanotechnology," said Scott Mize, President of Foresight Nanotech Institute. "Each of our prizes is given to those whose recent efforts have done the most to move us forward toward that goal."
Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes -- Experimental and Theory
The Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes are given in two categories, one for experimental work and the other for theory in advances in nanotechnology.
Dr. Christian Joachim, Center Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, France, received the Theory prize for developing theoretical tools and establishing the principles for design of a wide variety of single molecular functional nanomachines. Through an extensive combination of theoretical and experimental work, Dr. Joachim has developed single molecule devices that range from molecular wires to switches to logic gates to wheelbarrows.
A key element in Dr. Joachim's work has been his introduction of elastic scattering quantum chemistry (ESQC) theory to explain tunneling junctions between metal electrodes and molecules, now a standard for STM image calculations. Dr. Joachim previously shared the 1997 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for Experimental Work for his contribution to pioneering work using scanning probe microscopes to manipulate molecules. The 2005 Prize recognizes his uniquely broad and deep visionary contributions to understanding molecular properties and predicting the behavior of designed single molecule devices. http://www.cemes.fr/r2_rech/r2_sr2_gns/index.htm
The Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental work was awarded to Dr. Christian Schafmeister, University of Pittsburgh, for his work in developing a novel technology synthesizing macromolecules of intermediate sizes (between 1000 and 10,000 Daltons) with designed shapes and functions. The technology is derived from solid phase peptide synthesis, but with the crucial difference that adjacent monomers are connected through pairs of bonds, rather than through single peptide bonds, thus forming rigid, spiro-ladder oligomers instead of floppy peptide chains capable of assuming numerous shapes.
As part of this work Dr. Schafmeister developed computer-aided design software to permit designing oligomers with desired shapes. These oligomers can be assembled using automated equipment, chemically modified to add desired chemical functions and to achieve desired solubility, and obtained in high purity. Because the oligomers are large enough to have interesting functions and rigid, designed shapes, they hold great promise as nanoscale parts for future atomically precise nanoscale machines. http://www.chem.pitt.edu/people/faculty.asp?FacID=26