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"For seminal research in the spectroscopy and dynamics of molecular condensed materials."Background:
Xiaoyang Zhu is the Howard family professor of Nanoscience and a professor of chemistry at Columbia University. He received a BS degree from Fudan University in 1984 and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. After postdoctoral research with Gerhard Ertl at the Fritz-Haber-Institute, he joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University as an Assistant Professor in 1993. In 1997, he moved to the University of Minnesota as a tenured Associate Professor, later a Full Professor, and a Merck endowed professor. In 2009, he returned to the University of Texas at Austin as the Vauquelin Regents Professor and served as directors of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center and the Center for Materials Chemistry. In 2013, he moved to Columbia University where he remains. His honors include a Dreyfus New Faculty Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award, an APS Fellowship, a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, and an ACS Ahmed Zewail Award. Among his major contributions to science, Zhu has i) provided spectroscopic views on how quasi-particles and many-body interactions determine electron and exciton dynamics in low dimensional or unconventional semiconductors; and ii) bridged key concepts in physics and chemistry, including polaron formation vs. electron solvation, electron transport vs. electron transfer, and charge-transfer excitons at molecular vs. two-dimensional semiconductor interfaces.