Bourke Award 2009 winner

2009 Bourke Award winner Gerard Meijer
Gerard Meijer
Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany

Awarded for his original research on the formation and spectroscopy of ultra-cold molecules.


About the winner

Professor Meijer (b. 1962, Zeddam, The Netherlands) is director of the department of Molecular Physics at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany, since the summer of 2003.

In his department, research is performed on the optical properties and dynamics of molecules, clusters and cluster-adsorbate complexes in the gas phase. Techniques are developed to achieve full control over neutral molecules in the gas phase. 

Gerard Meijer is an experimental physicist who obtained his PhD degree in 1988 from the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. He has worked on the high-resolution electronic spectroscopy of small gas-phase radicals and on imaging of density and temperature distributions of such species in combustion processes.

During a post-doctoral stay at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Josť, California, USA, he has been involved in the early development of laser desorption to bring thermally labile bio-molecules intact into the gas phase.

In the early nineties he has been involved in the first optical, NMR and STM characterization of fullerene molecules and crystals. He was installed as full professor in Nijmegen in 1995, and there he has developed a variety of sensitive laser-based detection schemes for gas-phase molecules, most notably variants of the cavity ring down method.

As director of the FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics "Rijnhuizen" in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands, (2000-2003), he has pioneered the use of infrared free electron lasers for the structural characterization of gas-phase clusters, nanocrystals and bio-molecules.

During the last decade, he has also explored and developed the use of inhomogeneous electric fields to focus, decelerate and trap neutral polar molecules: different types of Stark decelerators, an electrostatic trap, an AC electric trap, a molecular storage ring and a molecular synchrotron have been demonstrated in his laboratory.

Gerard Meijer has published about 300 scientific papers that have received a total of over 10,000 citations.

Related Links

Link icon Gerard Meijer's webpage
Department of Molecular Physics at the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany

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