Don Eigler

Donald Eigler Mark, called Don Eigler, ( born March 23, 1953 in Los Angeles, California) is an American experimental solid state physicist, who is a pioneer in nanotechnology.


Eigler studied physics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD ) with a bachelor 's degree in 1975 ( after which he 1975/76 research at the University of Cologne, before he went to UCSD again) and his PhD at UCSD in 1984. As a post doctorate he spent two years at Bell Laboratories and then went to IBM in 1986. He was in San Jose on Almaden Research Center of IBM. In 2011, he was at IBM in retirement.

Eigler, 1989 was the first to used the scanning tunneling microscope (STM ) to position atoms on surfaces and manipulate - he became famous when he arranged the lettering IBM with 35 xenon atoms. The image brought it to the cover of Nature. In 1991 he demonstrated the construction of a bistable switch at the nanoscale.

In 1993 he demonstrated with Michael F. Crommie and Christopher Lutz first Quantum Corrals, a phenomenon from the theory of quantum chaos - the quantum mechanical wave function shows " scars " in places where running classical orbits, for example, in the foci of elliptical billiards, the Eigler built with colleagues using the RTM technique. 2002 followed by the construction of logical circuits in the nanometer range ( with Andreas J. Heinrich) through manipulation of carbon monoxide molecules on copper surfaces.

He was IBM Fellow in 1993. In 2010 he was awarded the Kavli Prize, the 2001 Davisson -Germer Prize and the 1995 Dannie Heineman Prize. In 1994 he was Lecturer Alexander Cruikshank.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for 1993/94 he received. 1998 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year at the University of California, San Diego was. In 1999, he was the first winner of the Nanoscience Prize.


  • DM Eigler, PS White, EK Schweizer, ND Lang: Imaging Xe with a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope. In: Physical Review Letters. 66, No. 9, 1991, pp. 1189-1192, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.66.1189.