Alexey Ekimov
Алексей Екимов
Ekimov in 2023
Born1945 (age 78–79)
EducationLeningrad State University (BS)
Ioffe Institute (PhD)
Known forquantum dots
confinement energy
AwardsUSSR State Prize (1976)
R. W. Wood Prize (2006)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2023)
Scientific career
FieldsChemical physics
InstitutionsIoffe Institute
Vavilov State Optical Institute
ThesisQuantum Dimensional Phenomena in Semiconductor Microcrystals
Russian: Квантовые размерные явления в полупроводниковых микрокристаллах

Alexey Ekimov or Aleksey Yekimov[1] (Russian: Алексей Екимов; born 1945) is a Russian[2] solid state physicist and a pioneer in nanomaterials research. He discovered the semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots in 1981, while working at the Vavilov State Optical Institute.[3][4][5] In 2023, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.


Early years and education

Ekimov was born in the Soviet Union. In 1967, he graduated from the Faculty of Physics, Leningrad State University. He went on to receive his PhD in physics at the Ioffe Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1974.

Research and career

After graduation, Ekimov moved to the Vavilov State Optical Institute to conduct research.[5] He began studying semiconductor-activated glasses, known as Schott glasses, and developing theories to explain their color.[6] When the glasses were heated and then cooled, copper chloride crystals formed, as revealed by X-rays,[6] creating blue colors.[7] Smaller crystals produced bluer glass.[7]

In 1981, Ekimov, along with Alexei A. Onushchenko, reported the discovery of quantum size effects in copper chloride nanocrystals in glass,[8][9][10][11] a phenomenon known now known as quantum dots. During his time at the institute he further investigated these system and developed the theory of quantum confinement with Alexander Efros.[6][12][13][14]

Since 1999, Ekimov has been living and working in the United States as a scientist for Nanocrystals Technology, a company based in New York State.[15][16]

Honors and awards

Ekimov was awarded the 1975 USSR State Prize in Science and Engineering for work on electron spin orientation in semiconductors.[5] He is co-recipient of the 2006 R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America for "discovery of nanocrystal quantum dots and pioneering studies of their electronic and optical properties" shared with Alexander Efros and Louis E. Brus.[17]

Ekimov, Brus and Moungi Bawendi were the recipients of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots".[16][1]

Selected publications


  1. ^ a b "They planted an important seed for nanotechnology" (Press release). The Nobel Prize. 4 October 2023.
  2. ^ Edwards, Christian; Hunt, Katie; Upright, Ed (4 October 2023). "Nobel Prize awarded for discovery of quantum dots that changed everything from TV displays to cancer imaging". CNN.
  3. ^ Екимов А.И., Онущенко А.А. (1981). "Квантовый размерный эффект в трехмерных микрокристаллах полупроводников" (PDF). Письма в ЖЭТФ. 34: 363–366. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Russian-Born Quantum Dot Pioneer Ekimov Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry". The Moscow Times. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Alexei Ekimov | Biography, Nobel Prize, Quantum Dots, & Facts | Britannica". 9 October 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Robinson2023-10-11T17:50:00+01:00, Julia. "The quantum dot story". Chemistry World. Retrieved 20 October 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b Bubola, Emma; Miller, Katrina (4 October 2023). "Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to 3 Scientists for Exploring the Nanoworld". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Sanderson, Katharine; Castelvecchi, Davide (4 October 2023). "Tiny 'quantum dot' particles win chemistry Nobel". Nature. 622 (7982): 227–228. doi:10.1038/d41586-023-03048-9.
  9. ^ Gramling, Carolyn (4 October 2023). "The development of quantum dots wins the 2023 Nobel prize in chemistry". Science News.
  10. ^ Clery, Daniel; Kean, Sam (4 October 2023). "Creators of quantum dots, used in TV displays and cell studies, win chemistry Nobel". Science.
  11. ^ Ekimov, A. I.; Onushchenko, A. A. (1 September 1981). "Quantum size effect in three-dimensional microscopic semiconductor crystals". Soviet Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics Letters. 34: 345. ISSN 0021-3640.
  12. ^ Efros, Alexander L.; Brus, Louis E. (27 April 2021). "Nanocrystal Quantum Dots: From Discovery to Modern Development". ACS Nano. 15 (4): 6192–6210. doi:10.1021/acsnano.1c01399. ISSN 1936-0851.
  13. ^ Ekimov, A. I.; Onushchenko, A. A.; Plyukhin, A. G.; Efros, Al. L. (1 April 1985). "Size quantization of excitons and determination of the parameters of their energy spectrum in CuCl". Soviet Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics. 61: 891. ISSN 1063-7761.
  14. ^ Efros, Al. L.; Rosen, M. (2000). "The Electronic Structure of Semiconductor Nanocrystals". Annual Review of Materials Science. 30 (1): 475–521. doi:10.1146/annurev.matsci.30.1.475. ISSN 0084-6600.
  15. ^ Devlin, Hannah (4 October 2023). "Scientists share Nobel prize in chemistry for quantum dots discovery". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  16. ^ a b Bubola, Emma; Miller, Katrina (4 October 2023). "Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to 3 Scientists for Work With Quantum Dots". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  17. ^ "Twenty attain 2006 top honors from the OSA". Laser Focus World. 30 August 2006.