The ICSOS Surface Structure Prize for 2008 is awarded to Prof. Michel Van Hove in recognition of his outstanding contribution to surface structure determination,  particularly by the technique of low energy electron diffraction, through the development, application and free distribution of multiple scattering codes, and for his eminent role in establishing the ICSOS conference series and the 'Surface Structure Database'.


Michel A. Van Hove’s research has focused since 1971 on the determination of the atomic-scale structure and bonding at solid surfaces and nanostructures, in order to establish the atomistic basis of surface science, nanoscience and their many technological applications. He developed and implemented powerful methods of electron scattering theory and computation, mainly for low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and photoelectron diffraction (PED), most recently for nanostructures. These methods have been widely distributed and used in the form of computer codes.  He has also played a central role in producing the Surface Structure Database. Michel has also conducted research on the theory of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), in order to interpret atomic-resolution images. His studies have furthermore included total-energy calculations of adsorption at surfaces, ab initio modeling of quantum well states of relevance to magnetic ultrathin films, and the simulation and investigation of segregation phenomena in bimetallic alloy nanoparticles. Another area of ongoing research is global optimization, e.g. genetic algorithms.

Michel in 1969 completed his undergraduate studies in Physics at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and in 1974 earned a PhD in Theoretical Solid State Physics at the University of Cambridge.

In 1971-1974, Michel was awarded a Predoctoral Fellowship by FNRS (Belgium).  In 1990-1991 he was Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  In 1991 he received the US Department of Energy Award for Sustained Outstanding Research in Materials Chemistry, followed in 1998 by the US Department of Energy Award for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishments in Materials Chemistry. In 1994, he was made Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Fellow of the American Vacuum Society.

Since 2005, Michel has been Head and Chair Professor in the Department of Physics and Materials Science of the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), in his eighth country of residence.  From 1978 to 2005, he was on the staff at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the University of California, while from 1998 to 2005 he was Adjunct Professor at the University of California in Davis.  During this period he was Invited Professor at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Paris, the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Université Aix-Marseille, and the University of Hong Kong.  Between 1974 and 1978, he was a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, at Caltech, and at the University of Munich.  In 1970 he performed research at the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Michel authored or co-authored over 330 publications, including 11 books, 10 edited conference proceedings, 54 review articles and book chapters, 29 letters, 208 regular articles, 29 proceedings articles, and 6 reports. As of March 2007, he had 11,915 ISI citations and an h-index of 60. He serves on the Editorial Board of 8 journals.

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