Department of Chemistry

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Baughman, Zakhidov Win Prestigious Medal From Russian Academy of Natural Sciences

                Two researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas last week were awarded the prestigious Kapitza Medal by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences for the pair’s breakthroughs in the field of nanotechnology.   The medal is the highest award given by the academy for a major scientific discovery.

                Dr. Ray Baughman, director of the UT Dallas NanoTech Institute, and Dr. Anvar Zakhidov, associate director of the institute, were honored at a ceremony in Moscow before an audience of nearly 400 scientists and engineers from approximately 40 universities and research institutes throughout Russia.

                Baughman was cited for “the discovery and development of the artificial muscles phenomena in conducting polymers and nanotubes,” while Zakhidov was recognized for “prediction and discovery of ultra-fast charge transfer from polymer to fullerene molecule C60, and for development of plastic photovoltaic solar cells based on this phenomena.”

                Zakhidov, a native of Uzbekistan, part of the former Soviet Union, was also inducted into the academy as a foreign member.  Baughman was similarly honored a decade ago.

                The honor is the latest of many bestowed on personnel from the NanoTech Institute for their discoveries in the cutting-edge science of nanotechnology.  Most recently, Baughman and two of his colleagues, Dr. Mei Zhang and Dr. Shaoli Fang, were named to the 2006 Scientific American 50, a list published annually by the respected magazine that recognizes outstanding contributions in the fields of science and technology during the past year.  The list appeared in the magazine’s December 2006 issue.

                The Kapitza Medal is named for Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitza, a Russian physicist and engineer who is considered one of the top scientists of the 20th century.  Kapitza, who died in 1984, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1978 and was inducted into the Royal Academy of Great Britain and the Russian Academy of Sciences for his research in low-temperature (superfluidity) physics.  He was founder and director of the Institute for Physical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

  • Updated: January 29, 2007