Leading researcher in chemistry to lecture at BGSU series


BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University welcomes an internationally known expert in the study of single atoms and molecules as the 2013 Heinlen Hall lecturer.

Dr. Wilson Ho, the Donald Bren Professor with a joint appointment in physics, astronomy and chemistry at the University of California-Irvine, will be on campus July 15-17 to give three talks and work with students and faculty. Ho has been collaborating with BGSU’s Dr. Peter Lu, Ohio Eminent Scholar in chemistry.

Recently elected to the National Academy of Science, Ho taught at Cornell University before joining the UC-Irvine faculty in 2000. Ho has received numerous awards for his pioneering research in the areas of single molecule imaging and spectroscopy. He was awarded the Bonner Prize in Chemistry in 2000 and the Medard W. Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society in 2011. Earlier this year, the American Physical Society recognized his work with the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics.

Ho’s lab’s research focuses on nanoscale chemical and physical phenomena, with an emphasis on probing the basic properties of single atoms and molecules in their environment on solid surfaces. The goal is to obtain detailed descriptions of single atoms and molecules.

Ho was born in Changwa, Taiwan. His family immigrated to San Francisco in 1965. He majored in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1975. His interest in surface science led him to the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a Ph.D. in physics in 1979.

His BGSU talks will focus on his team’s work using the scanning tunneling microscope, “a tool that not only allows us literally to see individual atoms and molecules but also to manipulate and spectroscopically characterize them,” according to his website.

All three lectures will be held at 3:30 p.m. in 113 Olscamp Hall.

His first talk, on Monday, July 15, will be on “Visualization and Control of Chemistry with Angström Resolution.” The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) has enabled a new way to understand chemistry by imaging and probing the properties and interactions of individual molecules.

His Tuesday, July 16, talk will be on “The Inner Machinery of Single Molecules: Resolving the Unresolved with High Spectral Resolution STM.”

On Wednesday, July 17, he will discuss “Beating the Diffraction Limit: Atomic Scale Optical Phenomena.”

Hosted by the Center for Photochemical Sciences and Department of Chemistry, the annual W. Heinlen Hall series brings the world's leading research chemists to BGSU students in chemistry in a series of lectures during the summer session. The purpose of the program is to expose Bowling Green undergraduate and graduate students to thinking in chemistry at the frontiers, and to introduce young people to intellectual leaders.

The series honors Hall, who was a professor of chemistry at BGSU from 1936-71. He served as chair of the department through a period of extraordinary University growth, retiring from that position in 1971, and from teaching in 1976.

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(Posted July 16, 2013 )