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September 27, 2006

Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D. (1943-2005)

Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D. (1943-2005)
Nobel Laureate 1996
University Professor, Rice University

Richard Smalley was university professor, the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics at Rice University. He won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of fullerenes, a family of carbon molecules that includes buckyballs and carbon nanotubes, tiny cylinders of carbon atoms that conduct electricity as efficiently as copper and have 100 times the strength of steel at one-sixth the weight.

In September 2001, Rice received $10.5 million from the National Science Foundation to establish Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), the only academic research center in the world that is dedicated to studying the interaction between nanomaterials and living organisms, be they individuals or entire ecosystems.

As the director of Rice's Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory, Smalley's recent research focused on how to most efficiently and effectively produce, process and use nanotubes. He died Oct. 28, 2005, in Houston after a long battle with cancer. He was 62. To read more about Smalley's extraordinary career, see the Rice University press release Nanotech pioneer, Nobel laureate Richard Smalley dead at 62. (Date of Image: mid 1990s) [See related Smalley Image.]

Credit: Rice University


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