Harry G. Drickamer

  • From:

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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  • Citation:

    For clarification of the role of pressure in producing paramagnetic-ferromagnetic and conductor-insulator transitions.

Harry G. Drickamer was a pioneer in the field of pressure tuning studies, which led to advances in the study of molecular, atomic, and electronic properties. Dr. Drickamer was the first to observe that high pressure disturbs different types of electronic orbitals to different degrees. He exploited the pressure tuning of electronic orbitals to discover a wide variety of electronic transitions in solids with different optical, electrical, chemical, and magnetic consequences. He also used pressure tuning to perform numerous critical tests of theories concerning electronic phenomena.

Dr. Drickamer's research contributed to the understanding of widely ranging scientific problems such as the band structure of solids, the insulator-conductor transition, the spin states of magnetic ions, and denaturation processes in proteins. Apart from their fundamental significance, Drickamer's discoveries have had an important influence on technology in the chemical industry and other industries.

Dr. Drickamer was born in 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio, and obtained his B.S.E. (1941), M.S. (1942), and Ph.D. (1946) degrees from the University of Michigan. Immediately after completing his Ph.D., Dr. Drickamer joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois. He was Head of the Division of Chemical Engineering from 1955-58, and became professor emeritus in 1989. Dr. Drickamer won many awards, including the Debye Award of the American Chemical Society and the National Medal of Science in 1989. Dr. Drickamer died in 2002.

Information as of 2002