Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Giacinto Scoles
Princeton University


"For their collaborative contributions to our understanding of intramolecular dynamics by high resolution spectroscopy and to atomic and molecular spectroscopy in liquid He nanodroplets, through the experimental and theoretical development of molecular and cluster beam spectroscopy."


Giacinto Scoles graduated from the University of Genova (Italy) in 1959 with a Chemistry degree. While Italian universities did not grant Ph.D degrees at that time, he did post-doctoral work at the Kamerlingh-Onnes Laboratorium of the University of Leiden in The Netherlands from 1961 to 1964. He was assistant and, later associate, professor of physics at the University of Genova from 1964 to 1971 when he moved, as professor of Chemistry and Physics, to the University of Waterloo in Canada. Since 1986 he is Donner Professor of Science at Princeton University, where he is a member of both the Chemistry Department and of the Princeton Materials Institute. Scoles is a pioneer of modern molecular beam techniques that he has applied to the study of atomic and molecular interactions both in the gas phase and at the gas-surface interface. Notable are his crossed molecular beam scattering studies of intermolecular forces and his pioneering work on the infrared laser spectroscopy of molecular and cluster beams, carried out using low temperature bolometric beam detection methods. More recently, in collaboration with Kevin Lehmann, he has carried out eigenstate-resolved spectroscopic studies of energy redistribution in polyatomics molecules and has pioneered the use of superfluid helium nanodroplets as an almost ideal matrix for molecular spectroscopy. Scoles has also applied molecular beams and grazing incidence X-ray scattering to the study of the structure and growth of ultrathin organic films and has recently started to use atomic force microscopy to characterize and manipulate organic monolayers and molecules of biological interest. Scoles is a foreign member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of The Netherlands, a Fellow of The Royal Society (UK), the OSA and of the APS. He has received the 1995 Lippincott Award and the 2002 P. Debye Award in Physical Chemistry of the ACS.

Selection Committee:

George Schatz (Chair), Mostafa El-Sayed (V Chair) (12/03), David Nesbitt (12/02), Anne Myers Kelley (12/02), Mitchio Okumura (12/03)