William Moerner

William Moerner

2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Prof. William E. Moerner is Harry S. Mosher Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University. He is a well-known expert in the field of imaging of single molecules and fluorescence spectroscopy. In 2014, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”.

Education and Work Experience

  • 1982, Ph.D. of Cornell University
  • 1981-1995, Research Staff Member and Project Leader, IBM Almaden Research Center
  • 1995-1998, Distinguished Chair in Physical Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
  • 1998-Present, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Honors and Awards

    • 2007, Member, the United States National Academy of Sciences
    • 2008, Wolf Prize in Chemistry
    • 2013, Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry
    • 2014, Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Major Academic Achievements

Optical microscopy imaging has long been subject to an envisaged limit: the highest resolution will never exceed half the wavelength of a light wave, which is called the Abbe diffraction limit. The observation of sub-wavelength structures with microscopes is difficult because of the Abbe diffraction limit. Professor Mona is the first person in the world to be able to detect a single fluorescent molecule. The detection of a single fluorescent molecule is extremely important for super-resolution microscopy. With the help of fluorescent molecules, Professor Mona pioneered the limits of optical microscopy imaging to the nanoscale.