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September 26, 2009
Harald Fuchs Honored Twice this Year
This has been a good year for Professor Harald Fuchs from the University of Münster (Germany) who has received two important prizes: The Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Emich Plaque of the Austrian Society for Analytical Chemistry (ASAC). "2009 seems to be a fruitful year for me in terms of prizes," says Fuchs delightedly. The German physicist has been distinguished for his work in nanotechnology and nanoanalytics and his contributions to the economic transfer of scientific innovations.
The Federal Cross of Merit is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals. The distinction was introduced in 1951 and may be awarded to both Germans and foreigners. Fuchs received the state-run prize in Düsseldorf (Germany) on June 18th. "This governmental award is particularly important for me as a scientist because it recognizes work that goes beyond pure technical achievements," he says. Besides his important contributions to the exploration of nanoscale phenomena, Fuchs is also initiator and director of the Center for Nanotechnology (CeNTech) in Münster and a member of the Karlsruhe Institute of Nanotechnology (KIT). Both centers support the formation of start-up companies that originate from university research and encourage the expansion of firms in the nanotechnology sector. They also promote education and advanced training in the field of nanotechnology. Additionally, Fuchs is co-founder of two start-up companies.
The German scientist received his second prize this year on September 7th –during the Euroanalysis Meeting in Innsbruck (Austria). At that conference, he was awarded the Emich Plaque for his contributions in the fields of nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoanalytics. The prize in analytical chemistry, established in 1950, is the highest honor conferred by the ASAC. "The Emich Plaque is an important award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of analytical sciences," says Wolfgang Lindner, a chemistry professor at the University of Vienna and president of the ASAC. According to Lindner, the prize honors advances in interdisciplinary research achieved by bridging physical chemistry with molecular spectroscopy and analytical chemistry. "Harald Fuchs' research in the area of nanotechnology and nanoanalytics fits perfectly into the spirit of this prize," he says. Fuchs is thrilled and points out that the Emich Plaque is a very special distinction: "This award is a particular honor for a physicist."
Fuchs earned his Diploma in theoretical physics in 1977 and his PhD in physics in 1982 at the University of Saarbrücken. After a postdoctoral year at IBM Rüschlikon (in the group of Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for the design of the scanning tunneling microscope) and several years in the industry (BASF Ludwigshafen), Fuchs was appointed physics professor at Münster in 1993. He has received several awards, including the Philip Morris Research Prize (1994), the Münsterland Innovation Prize (2001), and elected memberships at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina and the German Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech. Throughout his career, Fuchs has authored and co-authored over 350 peer-reviewed papers, co-edited 16 books and applied for 33 patents. His research focuses on nanoscience and nanotechnology, with a particular emphasis on scanning probe microscopy, self-assembled nanostructures, and nanobiosystems. Fuchs is co-chairman of the Editorial Board of Small and an active author and referee for ChemPhysChem and Angewandte Chemie.
Read Fuchs' latest publications on the mechanism of pattern formation in reactive dewetting (ChemPhysChem), the selective adsorption of DNA on chiral surfaces (Angewandte Chemie), the perspectives and challenges of nanomedicine (Angewandte Chemie), and the structuring of polymer brushes by AFM lithography (Small).