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Alumni Achievement Award: W. E. Moerner

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Published on Apr 19, 2013

W. E. Moerner, PhD, is chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University, where he also is the Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics. His research focuses on physical chemistry, chemical physics, single-molecule biophysics, super-resolution imaging and nanoparticle trapping. Moerner created a new field of science — single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging — by being the first to perform optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in condensed matter in 1989. This discovery is widely seen as one of the most important developments in biophysical chemistry, physical/analytical chemistry and chemical physics on the nanoscopic scale during the past two decades.

Moerner earned three bachelor's degrees, all with honors, from Washington University in St. Louis in 1975 in electrical engineering, physics and mathematics before going on to earn a master's and doctorate in physics from Cornell University. At Washington University, he was an Alexander S. Langsdorf Engineering Fellow.

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