AAAS Fellow William E. Moerner of Stanford University is one of three scientists awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in recognition of his groundbreaking contributions in bringing "optical microscopy into the nanodimension."
He shares the prize with Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry.
Working separately, the scientists developed super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, which allows scientists to "visualize the pathways of individual molecules inside living cells," according to a Nobel Prize press release.
Moerner was the first scientist in the world who was able to measure the light absorption of a single molecule. His work demonstrated that the fluorescence of molecules could be turned on and off by using specific wavelengths of light to excite them. With this discovery, researchers were able to distinguish individual molecules using a regular microscope to detect their glow.
As winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the researchers will share a $1.1 million prize.
Congratulations to all three laureates.