American Chemical Society
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Gibbs Award Dinner
The 102nd Presentation of the Willard Gibbs Medal
Friday, May 17, 2013


Gibbs Medal Awardee:
Prof. Charles M. Lieber
Prof. Charles M. Lieber

The Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry,
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Harvard University

“Nanowires, Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies”

Date:  Friday, May 17, 2013
Location:    Hilton Garden Inn
by Chicago O'Hare
2930 S. River Road
Des Plaines, IL
Meeting flier

Cost for the dinner:  $40 per person, $20 for students, unemployed and retirees.  You must be a member of the ACS Chicago Section to qualify for the discounted rate. 

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by Monday, May 13.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all food orders.  No-shows will be billed. 

Seating will be available after the dinner for people not attending the dinner but interested in hearing the speaker.

Register on line

6:00 PM  Reception with hors d'œuvres and 2 complimentary drinks
7:00 PM Dinner
8:30 PM ACS Award Ceremony
8:45 PM Gibbs Award Lecture

Gibbs Medal, front side

The History of the Willard Gibbs Award

Gibbs Medal, back side

The Citation: 

  For principal achievements in: while advancing the application of nanotechnologies in medical diagnostics, computing, energy, optoelectronic devices, and biological sciences.

A History of the Willard Gibbs Award:  Dr. Michael G. Koehler, Chair, Chicago Section, ACS

Introducing Professor Lieber: Professor Tobin Marks, Northwestern University

Presentation of the medal:  Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr., Chair, ACS Board of Directors 

Gibbs Acceptance Address: “Nanowires, Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies”


Nanoscience offers the promise of driving revolutionary advances in many areas of science and technology, ranging from electronics and computing to biology and medicine, yet the realization of this promise depends critically on the rational development of unique nanoscale structures whose properties and/or function are controlled during materials synthesis. What is the status today, and what are the prospects for the future of nanoscience and nanotechnology?

This presentation will address these questions from the speaker’s perspective drawing from his work and that of the field broadly defined. First, bottom-up versus top-down paradigms of nanoscience will be introduced, as well the key concept of platform materials needed to drive the bottom-up approach. Second, a brief historical perspective on the emergence of nanowires will be discussed. The ‘chemical’ synthesis of complex modulated nanowires will be highlighted as a central material in nanoscience for enabling the bottom-up paradigm. Third, selected examples illustrating the interplay between nanoscience and emerging or future technologies will be highlighted.

The concept of assembling a nanocomputer, first introduced by Feynman in 1959, will be introduced, and then the advances made in the past 10+ years will be reviewed and compared to parallel advances in industry. The potential for novel low-power processors for applications from micro-robots to implanted controller in the human body will be discussed. Next, the world-wide issue of energy will be addressed through an examination of past, present, and future efforts in nano-enabled renewable energy production and energy storage. Particular emphasis will be placed on efforts to exploit novel nanostructures for photovoltaic devices and novel paradigms enabled by the bottom-up approach. Last, advances and opportunities at the interface between nanotechnology and the life sciences will be discussed. Applications of inorganic and organic nanostructures as labels for imaging and drug delivery will be examined first. Then development of nanoelectronic devices with the capability to blur the distinction between electronic circuitry and cells to create ‘cyborg’ tissues will be described as an example of using nanoscience to realize what was once simply science fiction.


Charles M. Lieber received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College and carried out his doctoral studies at Stanford University, followed by postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology. In 1987 he assumed an Assistant Professor position at Columbia University, embarking on a new research program addressing the synthesis and properties of low-dimensional materials.

Dr. Lieber moved to Harvard University in 1991 and now holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, as the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At Harvard, Lieber has pioneered the synthesis of a broad range of nanoscale materials, the characterization of the unique physical properties of these materials and the development of methods of hierarchical assembly of nanoscale wires, together with the demonstration of applications of these materials in nanoelectronics, nanocomputing, biological and chemical sensing, neurobiology, and nanophotonics. Lieber has also developed and applied a new chemically sensitive microscopy for probing organic and biological materials at nanometer to molecular scales.

Lieber’s work has been recognized by a number of awards, including the Willard Gibbs Medal (2013); Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2012); ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award (2009); NBIC Research Excellence Award, University of Pennsylvania (2007); Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award (2005); ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2004); World Technology Award in Materials (2004 and 2003); Scientific American 50 Award in Nanotechnology and Molecular Electronics (2003); APS McGroddy Prize for New Materials (2003); MRS Medal (2002); Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (2001); NSF Creativity Award (1996); and ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1992).

Lieber is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, and American Physical Society. He is Co-Editor of Nano Letters and serves on the Editorial and Advisory Boards of a large number of science and technology journals. Lieber also serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of Samsung Electronics. He has published over 340 papers and is the principal inventor on more than 35 patents.

In his spare time, Lieber has been active in commercializing nanotechnology, and founded the nanotechnology company Nanosys, Inc. in 2001 and the new nanosensor company Vista Therapeutics in 2007, and nucleated Nantero, Inc. from his laboratory in 2001.

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Parking:  Free




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