For Creating New Field of Science, Texas Chemist Wins International Prize

Jan. 23, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Allen Bard, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, was awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Chemistry jointly with Professor William Moerner of Stanford University.

Allen Bard
Dr. Allen Bard was awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Chemistry.
Photo: Marsha Miller

The award, announced by Israel's minister of education, Professor Yuli Tamir, was given to the two scientists for their "creation of a new field of science," single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging.

The $100,000 prize will be presented by the president of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, at a special ceremony at the Knesset (parliament) in Jerusalem on May 25.

Bard, the Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry, pioneered the development of the scanning electrochemical microscope, which allows for high-resolution chemical imaging of surfaces and the study of chemical reactions at the nanoscopic regime.

The microscope is used worldwide in the identification of cancerous cells, mapping of transport paths in the skin for trans-dermal drug delivery and for lithographic patterning of surfaces.

Bard is largely responsible for the development of electrochemically generated electroluminescence reactions and immunoassay commercial technology, used worldwide in medical diagnosis and research. He and his team were the first to investigate the electrochemistry of particle semiconductors for solar energy conversion and environmental remediation.

Moerner was first to perform optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in condensed matter.

The international jury who tapped Bard and Moerner said the two scientists have "changed our understanding of the chemistry and physics of individual molecules."

For more information, contact: Lee Clippard, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 512-232-0104.