|Posted on March 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM|
The L'Oreal-UNESCO award, a part of the "For Women in Science Program" sponsored by L'Oreal Foundation, annually recognizes five outstanding women researchers in science and engineering, one from each continent. Among these five winners, we highlight nanoscientist Prof. Pratibha Gai, a woman in nanoscience and 2013 Laureate for Europe.
Prof. Pratibha Gai, the 'Yorkshire Forward' Chair of Electron Microscopy and co-director of the York JEOL Nanocentre at the University of York in the U.K. received the award for her contributions in modifying electron microscopy techniques to observe chemical reactions among surface atoms of catalysts. These advances will help scientists in the development of new medicines or new energy sources. Prof. Gai's research focuses on developing aberration-corrected (AC) environmental electron microscopy, which allows researchers to probe dynamic processes in gas molecule-solid surface reactions with a spatial resolution of less than 100 picometers (less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair). This fine resolution creates a powerful tool for studying dynamic and structural phenomena at the atomic scale. Possible applications include observing the creation of biofuel molecules, catalytic materials, nanomaterials, environmental nanophysics (i.e, diesel exhaust which is a mixture of gases and fine particles), and biomedical applications.
Pratibha Gai is already the recipient of the Institute of Physics 2010 Gabor Prize for in-situ atomic resolution-environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Microscopical Society, and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
Interviews with all five winners of 2013 L'Oreal-UNESCO Award can be found in a previous WIN blog article.
(Photo credit: All photos provided by and used with permission from Professor Gai, credit to E.D. Boyes, University of York).