FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor was early collaborator with Nobel Prize winner  

J. Murray Gibson

Special to the Outlook

FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Professor J. Murray Gibson, Ph.D., was an earlier collaborator with 2023 Nobel Prize winner Lou Brus.  

Brus was one of three renowned scientists recently awarded The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 for the development of quantum dots— nanoparticles so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena—or their size instead of the number of electrons in the element.  

Quantum dots are now used to illuminate televisions and computer screens, LED lamps, and help guide surgeons in removal of tumor tissue. Gibson, a former FAMU-FSU COE dean, was an early research collaborator on part of the work.  

In 1984 while at Bell Laboratories, Brus authored a paper on the subject showing that quantum dots could be made with the desired size and structure. Gibson explained that his role was the high-resolution electron microscopy in the earliest paper documenting the work, which verified the size, shape, crystallography, and composition of the dots. This led to the conclusion about their important optical properties being due to quantum-confined bandgaps.  

The work was done at Bell Laboratories in 1983 and is referenced in the Nobel citation. It was clearly a significant milestone in the development of quantum dots.  

“It brings back fond memories of working with Lou’s team at Bell Labs in the early ‘80s,” Gibson said. “It really was an amazing environment with such talent. What made Bell Labs so special was the freedom to do what you chose to in research, combined with immersion in a problem-rich environment. Not surprising that the institution invented the transistor, the laser and the cell phone. We need to reproduce this environment today for young researchers.”  

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