February 16, 2011

Ching Tang awarded Wolf Prize in the field of Chemistry

Ching Tang, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of chemical engineering in the University of Rochester's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been awarded the Wolf Prize in the field of chemistry. The prize, which is given annually by the Wolf Foundation, is widely considered second in prestige to the Nobel Prize. In the 33 years that the Wolf Prize has been awarded, one out of every three scientists to win it in physics, chemistry, and medicine has gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Tang shares the 2011 prize with Professor Stuart Alan Rice of the University of Chicago, and Professor Krzystof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University. Tang is the inventor of the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which gave birth to a multi-billion-dollar industry. The diodes have been used to create displays in cell phones, computers, and televisions that are much more energy efficient, thinner, and offer a clearer picture than LCD displays. LCD displays still dominate the commercial market, but OLEDs are quickly becoming more prevalent in devices like smart phones as the technology has improved. When he published his seminal paper on the technology in 1987 in the journal Applied Physics Letters, Tang was employed by the Eastman Kodak Company. To this day, that paper has been cited by more scientists than any other paper in the history of the well-regarded journal.