SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 -- Today US President George W. Bush is awarding the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology, honoring the nation's leading researchers, inventors and innovators. Among this year's honorees is Mostafa El-Sayed of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who is recognized for his "seminal contributions to our understanding of the electronic and optical properties of nano-materials and to their applications in nano-catalysis and nano-medicine; his humanitarian efforts in promoting the exchange of ideas; and his role in developing the scientific leadership of tomorrow."
Dr. El-Sayed, an Egyptian-American chemical physicist and leading nanoscience researcher, is known for the spectroscopy rule named after him, the "El-Sayed Rule." He is currently the Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he heads the Laser Dynamics Lab. His lab is known for the development of gold nanorod technology. A major focus of his lab currently is the optical and chemical properties of noble metal nanoparticles and their applications in nanocatalysis, nanophotonics and nanomedicine.
El-Sayed and his research group have contributed to many important areas of physical and materials chemistry research. Research interests include the use of steady-state and ultrafast laser spectroscopy to understand relaxation, transport and conversion of energy in molecules, in solids, in photosynthetic systems, semiconductor quantum dots and metal nanostructures. The El-Sayed group has also been involved in the development of new techniques such as magnetophoto selection, picosecond Raman spectroscopy and phosphorescence microwave double resonance spectroscopy.