Franklin Professor and Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry Gregory H. Robinson is among the awardees of the 2012 Humboldt Research Award.
The award, which is presented to up to 100 scientists worldwide annually, is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date and is presented to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
Robinson is internationally known for his work synthesizing chemical compounds that other scientists had dismissed as impossible. In a landmark 1995 paper, he demonstrated that metals can display electronic behavior that was previously only thought possible with carbon-based ring systems such as benzene. These chemical compounds, known as aromatics, are particularly stable, and Robinson's innovations have the potential to improve the performance of semiconductors and electronics. His research team subsequently installed a triple bond between two gallium atoms and later prepared a compound containing an iron-gallium triple bond. In another landmark paper published in 2008, Robinson's team stabilized a new form, or allotrope, of silicon and developed a technique to stabilize highly reactive molecules that otherwise would be fleeting.
"Dr. Robinson's research continues to receive international acclaim, and his accomplishments underscore how research in the basic sciences creates new knowledge with far-reaching applications," said Hugh Ruppersburg, interim dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "The fact that Dr. Henry Schaefer earned a Humboldt Research Award last year is further indication of the esteem with which our faculty members are held."
As Sam's release states, Dr. Robinson is the second consecutive UGA winner of a Humboldt Award, with his departmental colleague Dr. Henry Shaefer winning last year. Congratulations to Dr. Robinson and good luck in his continuing international collaborations.