Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Abraham Nitzan

Tel-Aviv University
2012 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Exact Sciences
In Field: Chemistry

Chemical dynamics

Prof. Abraham Nitzan

Jury Statement

“For his groundbreaking studies in chemical dynamics; for presenting innovative models of surface enhanced electromagnetic phenomena and for advancing the theory of electric conduction through molecules.”


Was born in Israel in 1944.

He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1964 and 1966).

In 1972 he completed his Ph.D. at Tel Aviv University, where he worked under the supervision of Professor Joshua Jortner. After post-doctoral studies at MIT, a year as a research assistant at Northwestern University and work as an associate researcher at the University of Chicago, he returned to Israel and continued his teaching and research activities at Tel Aviv University. During these years his studies focused on the dynamics of basic chemical processes.

His findings led to the fundamental understanding of energy transfer between molecules, the characterization of the dynamics of chemical and photochemical processes in condensed phases and interfaces, the characterization of electric conductivity mechanisms through molecules and the basic understanding of the link between the processes of electron transfer in solution to the phenomenon of molecular conductance. He also laid the foundation for the electromagnetic theory of surface enhanced electromagnetic processes, and has introduced the theoretical basis for the phenomenon of enhanced Raman scattering of molecules absorbed on metal surfaces. This work provides the basis for current studies in the field of molecular plasmonics. On these subjects he published more than 300 articles and a comprehensive book. His studies have also resulted in a patented invention. His scientific achievements won him prizes and awards, among them the Kolthoff Award (1995), the Humboldt Award (1995), the Israel Chemical Society Prize (2002) and the Israel Prize in Chemistry (2010). He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Israel Academy of Sciences. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Konstanz in Germany.