Prize Recipient

Max G. Lagally
University of Wisconsin, Madison


"For seminal studies of structural disorder at surfaces and far-reaching contributions to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of epitaxy."


Max G. Lagally received his Ph D in solid state physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1968 and spent the next two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. He returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1970 where he is presently a professor of physics. During his long tenure there, he has served as vice chair of the Material Science program and as director of the Thin-Film Deposition and Applications Center in the College of Engineering, in addition to teaching, lecturing, and involvement in a variety of elementary and middle school educational activities.

Lagally's contribution to structural disorder and epitaxial growth at surfaces date back to the 1960's, when he pioneered the use of electron diffraction as a structural tool for surface analysis. By the late 1970's, he had developed many novel experimental techniques using the spatial analysis of LEED profiles to garner more detailed information about structural disorder or surfaces. When scanning tunneling micoscopy emerged in the 1980s, he was quick to realize its potential and soon established a world-class research program using tunneling microscopy images to make the first direct measurements of thermodynamic and kinetic parameters.