Chad Mirkin honored for contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoscience
SKOKIE, Ill. — Chad A. Mirkin, co founder of materials discovery startup Stoicheia, has received the Royal Chemistry Society’s prestigious de Gennes Prize. The prize is biennially awarded to one scientist for outstanding contributions to chemical sciences and materials chemistry.
The Royal Society of Chemistry awards a suite of prizes, including the de Gennes Prize, that celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia. These awards are often considered a predictor of future Nobel Prize winners, with more than 50 recipients later winning Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work.
A world-renowned nanotechnology pioneer, Professor Mirkin received the prize for his contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoscience, specifically for inventing and developing methods for nanolithography, high-area rapid printing and photocontrol in nanoparticle synthesis.
Grounded in Mirkin’s revolutionary discoveries, Stoicheia is investigating the materials genome at a scale never before realized, generating the largest and highest quality datasets ever produced in materials science, driving the most powerful materials AI on earth.
With the prize, Mirkin also will receive £3000 and a medal.
“I am extremely thankful to be chosen by the Royal Society of Chemistry as this year’s de Gennes Prize winner,” said Mirkin. “The previous recipients of this award are among the best and brightest materials chemists working in the field today, and I am grateful to be counted among their company. I would like to acknowledge my current and former students, postdocs, and collaborators, who have substantively contributed to the areas of research for which I am receiving this prize. I have been very fortunate to have been able to work with such a talented and creative cohort over the years.”
Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering at Northwestern as well as the director of the International Institute of Nanotechnology. Before launching Stoicheia earlier this year, Mirkin co-founded seven other startups, aimed at developing new technologies to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
“All of us have experienced tremendous challenges in the last year and the chemical sciences community has been integral to how the world has responded on a number of levels,” said Dr. Helen Pain, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry. “From developing vaccines for COVID-19 to continuing to work towards a more sustainable world – the contribution of chemical scientists has never been more tangible or important.
“In a recent review of our recognition portfolio, we committed to ensuring that our prizes reflected the incredible diversity and excellence of chemistry being carried out today. Professor Mirkin’s work is a prime example of what we are so passionate about and we are proud to recognize his contribution with this prize.”
Stoicheia uses a unique combination of proprietary AI and high-throughput screening technology to advance the discovery of new materials that can impact the trillion dollar automotive, chemical, oil and clean energy industries. Through its proprietary NanocombinatoricsTM and MegalibraryTM platforms, Stoicheia not only has access to the world’s largest combinatorial material libraries but also unprecedentedly large data sets that are being used to train their AI and machine-learning algorithms. These capabilities allow for the rapid, systematic and thorough interrogation of the materials genome, enabling the discovery of new materials with properties that can drive the developing renewable and net-zero economy. New fuel cell and carbon nanotube catalysts have already been discovered using this approach, and novel catalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution, which are integral for green hydrogen production and fuel cell development, are some of the next targets. Carbon dioxide reduction catalysts that can convert CO2 that is currently being sequestered as a waste product to a valuable feed stock are also materials that are being designed and evaluated with Stoicheia’s technology, placing Stoicheia at the forefront of digital materials discovery.