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Wasielewski Receives Porter Medal for Work in Photochemistry

Michael R. Wasielewski, professor of chemistry in the Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has received the 2008 Porter Medal for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of photochemical processes in chemistry, biology and materials science.

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May 6, 2008 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Michael R. Wasielewski, professor of chemistry in the Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has received the 2008 Porter Medal for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of photochemical processes in chemistry, biology and materials science.

The Porter Medal is awarded every two years to a scientist who, in the opinion of the European Photochemistry Association, the Inter-American Photochemistry Society and the Asian Photochemistry Association, has contributed most to the science of photochemistry with particular emphasis on more physical aspects, reflecting the interests of the late Nobel laureate George Porter, for whom the medal is named.

The award citation reads: "Professor Michael Wasielewski has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of photochemical processes in chemistry, biology and materials science. In doing so he has combined original synthesis and time-resolved optical and EPR measurements to elucidate and control excited state processes. These studies have been a significant contribution to the current understanding of non-adiabatic electron transfer, and subsequent work from Professor Wasielewski has shown how this thorough mechanistic understanding can be applied to the development of molecular computational elements and devices. In awarding Professor Wasielewski the Porter Medal we recognize not only the depth of his many contributions, but also the breadth, rigor and originality of his work."

Wasielewski, who is also director of the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center, has pioneered new approaches to solar energy conversion. His research on light-driven charge transport in molecules and nanoscale materials for solar energy conversion has resulted in more than 310 publications.

Wasielewski joined the Northwestern faculty in 1994. His awards and honors include the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (2006) and the Photochemistry Research Award from the Inter-American Photochemical Society (2004).