Gilles Holst Medal 2015 for Paul Blom and Dago de Leeuw

15 June 2015

On Monday 26 October 2015, Paul Blom and Dago de Leeuw of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany will receive the Gilles Holst Medal for their research in the field of molecular electronics. Their work at the interface between physics and chemistry has led to the development of new materials and their application in such devices as OLED screens.

What the jury says about Blom and De Leeuw

‘The joint research carried out by Paul Blom and Dago de Leeuw is a splendid example of how complementary expertise in chemistry and physics and collaboration between industry and science can lead to scientific breakthroughs and new applications.’ The jury consisted of Academy members Andries Meijerink (chair), Reinder Coehoorn and Joost Frenken as well as Nathalie Katsonis of The Young Academy.

About the laureates

Paul Blom and Dago de Leeuw are pioneers in the field of molecular electronics. Their joint research – at Philips Research, the University of Groningen, and (since 2012) the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz – has led to a basic understanding of organic semiconductors. Their research results have been published in an impressive number of articles in prestigious scientific journals and have led to several patents. Blom and De Leeuw’s work provides the basis for a broad spectrum of present and future applications, including OLED displays, organic solar cells, and organic computer chips. Their research covers everything from developing new materials to understanding the electronic properties of those materials and how they can be used in devices.

Blom and De Leeuw have won numerous awards for their joint research and were among the top one hundred entries on Thomson Reuters’ The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014.

Paul Blom (rechts) and Dago de Leeuw © Thomas Hartmann/MPG

About the Gilles Holst Medal

The Academy’s Gilles Holst Medal is awarded every four years to outstanding Dutch scientists who work at the interface between physics and chemistry. One important secondary condition is that the laureate’s research must have contributed to a practical application. The Gilles Holst Fund was established in 1939 to mark the 25th anniversary at NV Philips of Gilles Holst, the director of the company’s laboratories in Eindhoven.
The medal was awarded for the first time in 1963 to Willie Burgers. Other laureates were Marten Teves (1967), Johann Fast (1971), Pieter Maarten de Wolff (1976), Reinder van Duinen and Harm Habing (1988), George Blasse (1992), Willy Boesten (1996), Reinder Coehoorn and Wim de Jonge (2000), Jaap Boon (2007) and Dick Broer (2011).

Award ceremony

The award ceremony will take place on Monday 26 October 2015. To mark the occasion, the Academy will organise a symposium on plastic electronics that will include a lecture by the laureates about the electronics of organic materials. The ceremony and symposium will be held at the Academy’s Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, in Amsterdam.