Catherine J. Murphy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Haimei Zheng, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), have received the 2019 Materials Research Society (MRS) Medal “for outstanding contributions on the study of anisotrop-ic nanoscale materials, transformation and application.”
Murphy holds the Larry R. Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned two BS degrees (chemistry and biochemistry) from the University of Illinois and her PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin. After postdoctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology, Murphy became a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. In 2009, she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois. Her laboratory has pioneered the aqueous colloidal synthesis, surface chemistry, biological applications, and environmental implications of anisotropic gold and silver nanoparticles. Her primary research goal is to develop inorganic nanomaterials for biological and energy-related applications, and to understand the chemical interactions of these nanomaterials with their surroundings.
Murphy’s honors include election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2019) and the National Academy of Sciences (2015). She is a Fellow of MRS and was ranked 10th on the Thomson Reuters list of “Top 100 Materials Scientists of the Decade 2000–2010.” Murphy has more than 250 publications.
Zheng is a senior staff scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at LBNL and an adjunct professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She received her PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. Prior to her independent research at LBNL, she was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and LBNL.
Her research interests are centered on understanding how atomic level heterogeneity and fluctuations control the physical and chemical processes of materials. By developing and applying in situ transmission electron microscopy, her group studies the nucleation, growth, and transformations of nanoscale materials and solid–liquid (including electrode–electrolyte) interfaces. Her research efforts have enabled novel materials engineering and device development. She received the LBNL Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 2013. She was also a recipient of the US Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Award in 2011.
Murphy and Zheng will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston. The title of Murphy’s talk is “A Golden Time for Nanotechnology,” and Zheng’s talk is titled “Real Time Imaging of Nanoscale Materials Transformations in Liquids.”