Global Award

Introducing the award

The Prize, established in 2009  in honor of the founder of Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, Kai Siegbahn, aims to recognize and encourage outstanding experimental achievement in synchrotron radiation research with a significant component of instrument development. Particular preference will be given to the development of synchrotron radiation spectroscopies.

Surface Science Letters

About Gerhard Ertl

Gerhard Ertl

Gerhard Ertl is a German physicist and a Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany. Ertl’s research laid the foundation of modern surface chemistry, which has helped explain how fuel cells produce energy without pollution, how catalytic converters clean up car exhausts and even why iron rusts, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.He won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces. The Nobel academy said Ertl provided a detailed description of how chemical reactions take place on surfaces. His findings applied in both academic studies and industrial development, the academy said. “Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer, as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere,” the award citation reads.


Winner Announcement 2013: Gerhard Ertl Prize 2013 awarded to Phil King

On March 14th at the DPG (The Surface Science Division of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft) Spring meeting in Regensburg, the 2013 Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award was presented to Phil King (University of Warwick and University of St. Andrews) for his presentation “Emergent quantum size effects at surfaces of correlated and topological solids”.
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Previous winners


Alexander Ako Khajetoorians (Hamburg University) for his presentation “Exploring quantum magnetism at the single atom level”.
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Alexandre Tkatchenko (Fritz-Haber-Institut der MPG, Berlin, Germany)
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Leo Gross (IBM Research – Z├╝rich, Switzerland)
Selected for his work on charge measurement of adsorbed atoms and atomic resolution of molecules with noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM).
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This prestigious award recognizes a young researcher for his/her outstanding research in surface science.

Application Process

Young surface science researchers, with a PhD certificate not dating back longer than six years were invited to put themselves forward for this award by submitting an abstract and a two-page description of their work to the chairperson of the DPG Surface Science Division. Applicants should have recently obtained their PhD degree and submit their CV and two page description of their work. In addition, they have to submit two support letters as well as a regular contribution to the "DPG Spring Meeting of the Surface Science Division". To select the winner, the prize committee will select five top candidates who will be asked to give an oral presentation.

Award and Ceremony

The award is supported by Surface Science, and consists of a certificate and EUR 5,000.