ELLIS R. LIPPINCOTT AWARD
The award was established in 1975, with The Coblentz Society and the The Optical Society, to honor Ellis R. Lippincott's unique contributions to the field of vibrational spectroscopy.
About Ellis R. Lippincott
Lippincott was a vibrational spectroscopist who worked at the University of Maryland. He was known for his work on the diamond anvil cell, which is used in high pressure research, and his spirit of innovation and ability to influence other scientists.
His first academic position was at Kansas State University, where he developed a potential function for the hydrogen bond that is usually known as the Lippincott-Schroeder potential. Forty years after the publication of this work, when the development of computers allowed sophisticated ab initio computations to be made, the Lippincott–Schroeder potential still proved to be an excellent model of the hydrogen bond. Shortly after this work was published, Lippincott moved to the University of Maryland where he showed that his experimental skills were every bit as strong as his theoretical expertise. In a very productive partnership with scientists at the National Bureau of Standards, he was responsible for the development of the diamond anvil cell, with which spectra of materials at pressures up to 50,000 atm could be measured routinely. These devices are still being used today for applications as wide as explosives studies to forensic measurements. He founded High Pressure Diamond Optics with Alan Van Valkenburg and Charles Weir in 1961.
In the early 1960s, there was a growing awareness that examiners in the U.S. Patent Office did not consider an infrared spectrum to be characteristic of a molecule for patent purposes. Lippincott presented a definitive paper on “The Limitations and Advantages of Infrared Spectroscopy in Patent Problems” which was subsequently published in the Journal of the Patent Office. As a result, the Patent Office’s view of IR spectroscopy underwent a major change. Lippincott died in 1974.
2022 Award Recipient – Martin T. Zanni
2021 Award Recipient – Rohit Bhargava
The 2021 Ellis R. Lippincott Award was presented to Rohit Bhargava for “contributions to the fundamental physics and instrument engineering of mid-IR microscopy and its applications to medical imaging.”
Rohit Bhargava is Founder Professor in Engineering and serves as the Director of the Cancer Center at Illinois of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rohit graduated with a dual-degree B.Tech. (1996) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and received a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University (2000). After a stint at the National Institutes of Health, he has been at Illinois as Assistant (2005-2011), Associate (2011-2012) and Full (2012-) Professor. Rohit has contributed to infrared chemical imaging with advances in theory, development of new instrumentation, and applications, especially in cancer pathology. He is recognized for his teaching and mentoring as well, including directing the NIH T32-supported Tissue Microenvironment training program. Rohit has also served to connect the research community in new and exciting ways. He proposed and has served to develop the Cancer Center at Illinois – a basic science center at the convergence of engineering and oncology.
2020 Lippincott Award Recipient
The 2020 Ellis R. Lippincott Award was presented to Dr. Volker Deckert, “for ongoing contributions to high-resolution Raman spectroscopy, in particular the realization of tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, allowing label-free structural surface characterization down to the single-molecule level.”
Dr. Volker Deckert is a Professor for Physical Chemistry at the Friedrich-Schiller University and jointly a department head at the Leibniz IPHT, both in Jena. He obtained his Diploma and his Ph.D. from the University of Würzburg, working on Raman spectroscopy. After a postdoc at the University of Tokyo, he started his research on near-field optical spectroscopy, first at the ETH Zurich, then in Dresden and Dortmund before he finally came to Jena.
Dr. Deckert’s research focuses on Raman spectroscopy, near-field optical microscopy, and plasmon enhancement. The major goal is to extend the limits of spatial resolution for label-free techniques, particularly for methods based on tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). Research is mainly driven by questions related to chemical and/or bio-related problems that require structural information at the highest possible resolution. These studies then help to understand the underlying theoretical concepts of the often-surprising lateral resolution.
2019 Lippincott Award Recipient
Ji-Xin Cheng attended University of Science and Technology of China from 1989 to 1994 and pursued a PhD study on bond-selective chemistry from 1994 to 1998. In 2000, he joined Sunney Xie’s group at Harvard University as a postdoc. Cheng joined Purdue University in 2003 as Assistant Professor, promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Full Professor in 2013. He joined Boston University as the Inaugural Moustakas Chair Professor in Photonics and Optoelectronics in 2017.
Ji-Xin Cheng devoted his career to transforming molecular spectroscopy from an in vitro analytical tool to a set of in vivo label-free chemical imaging platforms for discovery of hidden signatures inside living systems and further translation of the discoveries into medical diagnosis and treatment strategies.
2018 Lippincott Award Recipient
The 2018 Ellis R. Lippincott Award was presented to Peter Hamm, Universitat Zurich, “for seminal contributions to developing multidimensional infrared, Raman and Terahertz spectroscopy and pioneering studies of protein and hydrogen bonding dynamics in molecular liquids.”
Peter Hamm studied physics at the Technical University of Munich and carried out his PhD studies under Wolfgang Zinth at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich between 1991 and 1995. He continued with a postdoc at University of Pennsylvania in the group of Robin Hochstrasser. In 1999, he was appointed as an independent group leader at the Max Born Institute, Berlin, and in 2001 as professor at University of Zürich, where he stayed ever since.
Hamm’s research is focused on establishing novel spectroscopic methods in the infrared and THz spectral range which resolve transient structures of molecular systems and the energy flow through them on very fast timescales. A large variety of questions is addressed, ranging from complex problems such as protein folding and allosteric communication in proteins, over photocatalytic water splitting, to elementary structural processes in liquids like water.
2017 Lippincott Award Recipient
Roberto Merlin is the Peter A. Franken Professor of Physics and a Professor in the EECS Department at the University of Michigan. He received the Licenciado en Ciencias Fisicas and the Dr. rer. nat. degrees from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1973) and the University of Stuttgart, Germany (1978).
Merlin is the recipient of 2006 APS Isakson Prize, a Fellow of AAAS, OSA, APS, and the von Humboldt, Guggenheim and Simons Foundation. Professor Merlin’s primary research specialty is experimental condensed matter physics. His areas of expertise include various continuous wave and ultrafast optical techniques and, in particular, spontaneous and impulsive (stimulated) Raman spectroscopy. His current interests focus on the generation of coherent vibrational and electronic fields using ultrafast laser and x-ray pulses and metamaterials.
Merlin and collaborators pioneered work on folded acoustic and interface phonons in semiconductor heterostructures, and on Fibonacci superlattices, metasurfaces and squeezed phonons.
The respective host societies are listed below each recipient’s name.
Dana D. Dlott
X. Sunney Xie
Keith A. Nelson
Richard Van Duyne
Hai Lung Dai
Herbert L. Strauss
Richard J. Saykally
Robert W. Field
Marilyn E. Jacox
Andreas C. Albrecht
C. Bradley Moore
Ira W. Levin
Jon T. Hougen
George G. Pimentel
E. Bright Wilson
Bryce Crawford, Jr.
Richard G. Lord