Richard P. Feynman


2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology

Nominations due July 31, 2001

Winners of the 2001 Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology

Announced during the Ninth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology:

Mark A. RatnerTheory: Mark A. Ratner, Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University

Professor Ratner was cited as a theorist whose work has made major contributions to the development and success of nanometer-scale electronic devices. He was a visionary co-inventor of the concept and scientific study of molecular-scale electronics. Ratner has continued to refine his early concepts with a series of theoretical innovations and articles. His work has been instrumental in establishing scientific understanding, worldwide, about the mechanisms and magnitudes of conduction in molecular junctions, and in particular, the nature of charge transport in single-molecule nanostructures.

Charles M. LieberExperimental: Charles M. Lieber, Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University

Professor Lieber, was cited for his pioneering experimental work in molecular nanotechnology which included seminal contributions to the synthesis and characterization of the unique physical properties of carbon nanotubes and nanowires. He has developed numerous innovative applications of nanowires and carbon nanotubes, including the assembly of these building blocks into complex structures for nanodevice applications. Lieber’s work led to the creation of new tools for molecular nanotechnology and represents a significant advance towards molecular scale computation and nanotechnology.

More information in this article.

Finalists for the 2001 Feynman Prizes

The following five individuals or teams were selected as Finalists for the 2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, Theoretical:

The following five individuals or teams were selected as Finalists for the 2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, Experimental:

2001 Feynman Prizes for Theoretical and Experimental Molecular Nanotechnology

Two prizes in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the development of molecular nanotechnology. This year again separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work. The prizes will be given at the Ninth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, to be held November 9-11, 2001.

This prize is in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said “The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developed—a development which I think cannot be avoided.”

Relevant Research Areas

Research areas considered relevant to molecular nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing include but are not limited to:

  • biomolecular machinery
  • computational chemistry
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • mechanosynthesis
  • molecular machines
  • scanning probes
  • nanomaterials
  • nano-tribology
  • self-assembly

Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of a general-purpose molecular assembler. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).

Selection Committee for the 2001 Prize

A committee of previous Feynman Prize winners has been asked to select this year’s honorees. Invitees are:

Previous Feynman Prize winners

Distinctions between the annually awarded Feynman Prizes and the Feynman Grand Prize

Feynman Prizes
Experimental $5000 Presented for the best
work published in
recent years.
Theoretical $5000
Grand Prize
$250,000 Presented for demonstration
of 50 nanometer 8 bit adder
and 100 nanometer robot arm.

The 2001 Feynman Prize will be the most recent in a series of annually awarded prizes for accomplishment in molecular nanotechnology. Both the annual Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and the Feynman Grand Prize are sponsored by the Foresight Institute to encourage and accelerate the development of molecular nanotechnology. Both are named in honor of Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman. However, these prizes differ in focus, frequency of award, and scale.

The 2001 and other annual Prizes (originally designated the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology) recognize recent achievements that contribute to the development of nanotechnology. The nature of the achievement is not specified in advance, and the judges choose from among the entries submitted which one most advanced the field during the preceding several years. In contrast, the Grand Prize will be awarded at some undetermined date in the future when someone builds two specified working devices, an accomplishment that will signal a crucial milestone on the road to a mature molecular manufacturing technology.

The annual Prize was awarded in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and now in 2001. It will be awarded every year until the Grand Prize is awarded, at which point the series of annual Prizes will be finished.

The first annual Prize was $5000, the second was $10,000, and since the third the annual Prize has consisted of two prizes of $5,000 each, awarded for separate accomplishments in theoretical and in experimental areas. The Grand Prize will be at least $250,000.

Submission or Nomination Procedures

Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.

Submissions (and nominations) consist of up to five maximum of the following:

  • an approved thesis or dissertation (bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D.)
  • an article published in a refereed journal
  • a paper approved for publication in a refereed journal

In addition, each submission or nomination must include a one-page summary of the work and its relevance to the goal of molecular nanotechnology and/or molecular manufacturing. [If the journal article submitted has multiple authors, the applicant’s (nominee’s) role in the research must be stated.] Summaries may be up to 400 words in length.

Submissions should be mailed to the Foresight Institute at the postal address below, to arrive by July 31, 2001. One copy of the paper or thesis and one copy of the one-page summary are required. The summary must include the applicant’s address, telephone, and (if possible) fax number and email address. In the case of nominations, contact information should be included for both nominator and nominee. Finalists may be contacted for additional information. The prizewinner must be present at the conference to accept the prize.

Applications may also be based upon more than one research paper, up to a maximum of five papers, in which case a copy of each paper should be submitted.

Individual submissions are preferred, but teams of up to three will be considered. Team members may not be changed after the submission deadline.

For further information, contact the Foresight Institute.