Dr. Paul Alivisatos
Director, Berkeley Lab
Dr. Paul Alivisatos is Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and is the University of California (UC) Berkeley’s Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He also directs the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute (ENSI), and holds professorships in the University of California Berkeley’s departments of materials science and chemistry. In addition, he is a founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp, now a part of Life Tech.
Groundbreaking contributions to the fundamental physical chemistry of nanocrystals are the hallmarks of Dr. Alivisatos’s distinguished career. His research breakthroughs include the synthesis of size- and shape-controlled nanoscrystals, and forefront studies of nanocrystal properties, including optical, electrical, structural and thermodynamic. In his research, he has demonstrated key applications of nanocrystals in biological imaging and renewable energy. He played a critical role in the establishment of the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy’s Nanoscale Science Research Center; and was the facility’s founding director. He is the founding editor of Nano Letters, a leading scientific publication in nanoscience.
As director of Berkeley Lab, Alivisatos supports the incredible range of research and technology development being pursued at Berkeley Lab in the interest of society. To lay the groundwork for large-scale accomplishment in the future, he has set forth four strategic scientific initiatives for the lab to pursue: Energy Innovation, a multidisciplinary approach for science and technology solutions that could move humanity toward net zero impact in the global carbon cycle; a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and using microbial life for clean energy, environment, and health; an early-stage proposal to upgrade the Advanced Light Source to the diffraction limit, achieving 100 times more brightness than the current photon imaging machine is capable of; and, harnessing the computing and data revolution to greatly advance scientific discovery. Alivisatos has also proactively invigorated Berkeley Lab’s safety culture, elevated the Lab’s community outreach and operational efficiency efforts, and is currently working to build a more diverse and inclusive community within the lab.
Dr. Alivisatos has been recognized for his accomplishments with awards such as the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Eni Italgas Prize for Energy and Environment, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, the Wilson Prize, the Coblentz Award for Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy, the American Chemical Society Award for Colloid and Surface Science, the Von Hippel Award of the Materials Research Society, and most recently, the 2014 ACS Materials Chemistry Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Alivisatos received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1981 from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1986. He began his career with UC Berkeley in 1988 and with Berkeley Lab in 1991.