William Moerner

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William Moerner 2013

William Esco Moerner (usually known as WE Moerner ; born June 24, 1953 in Pleasanton , California , USA ) is an American physicist and chemist . On October 8, 2014, together with Eric Betzig and Stefan Hell , he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy .

Moerner grew up in Texas and received his BS in physics, BS in electrical engineering and his AB in mathematics from Washington University in 1975. This was followed by an MS at Cornell University in 1978 and in 1982 he received his PhD there under James Gegan Miller with the thesis Vibrational Relaxation Dynamics of an IR-Laser-Excited Molecular Impurity Mode in Alkali Halide Lattices . From 1981 to 1995 he did research at IBM . He was then a professor at the University of California, San Diego until 1998 .

Moerner has been Professor of Chemistry since 1998 and Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University since 2002, with an honorary appointment in Applied Physics . His main research interests are single molecule spectroscopy , physical chemistry , chemical physics, biophysics and nanophotonics. Thanks to his research, the localization and spectroscopic study of individual fluorescent molecules in solids were successful.

He received the Roger I. Wilkinson National Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer Award in 1984 and the Earle K. Plyler Prize of the American Physical Society in 2001 . He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society , Optical Society of America , American Association for the Advancement of Science , American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2007 . He also received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2008 , the Irving Langmuir Award in 2009, the Peter Debye Award in 2013 and the Earle K. Plyler Prize in 2001 .


  • with L. Kador: Optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in a solid. In: Physical Review Letters . Volume 62, 1989, p. 2535
  • with Michel Orrit : Illuminating single molecules in condensed matter. In: Science . Volume 283, 1999, pp. 1670-1676
  • with Th. Basché, M. Orrit, H. Talon: Photon antibunching in the fluorescence of a single dye molecule trapped in a solid. In: Physical Review Letters. Volume 69, 1992, p. 1516
  • with SM Silence: Polymeric photorefractive materials. In: Chemical Reviews. Volume 94, 1994, pp. 127-155
  • with Stephen Ducharme, JC Scott, RJ Twieg: Observation of the photorefractive effect in a polymer. In: Physical Review Letters. Volume 66, 1991, p. 1846
  • with P. Yeh: Introduction to Photorefractive Nonlinear Optics. In: Physics Today . Issue 3, 2008, pp. 89-98
  • with Brahim Lounis: Single photons on demand from a single molecule at room temperature. In: Nature . Volume 407, 2000, pp. 491-493


Web links

Commons : William E. Moerner  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Biographical data, publications and academic family tree of William E. Moerner at academictree.org, accessed on January 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Book of Members. Retrieved July 26, 2016 .