Don Eigler is a physicist who has specialized in the development and use of low temperature scanning tunneling microscopes. His research is aimed at understanding the physics of nanometer-scale structures and exploring the applications of nanometer-scale structures to computing.
Don is best known for his 1989 demonstration of the ability to manipulate individual atoms with a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope. Since then, his group’s results include the invention of "quantum corrals," discovery of the "quantum mirage" effect, demonstration of a fundamentally new way to transport information through a solid, the demonstration of nanometer-scale logic circuits based on Molecular Cascades, and the invention of a powerful new technique to study the magnetic properties of nanometer-scale structures: Spin Excitation Spectroscopy.
Don received both his bachelors and doctorate degrees from the University of California San Diego, was named its Outstanding Alumnus Of The Year in 1999 and was recently named one of UCSD’s Top 100 Influential Alumni. Don joined IBM as a Research Staff Member in 1986, was named an IBM Fellow in 1993 and retired from IBM in 2011. He has been recognized for his accomplishments with the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, the Davisson-Germer Prize, the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Newcomb-Cleveland Prize, the Grand Award for Science and Technology, the Nanoscience Prize, and numerous honorary lectureships including the Bethe Lectureship at Cornell University and the Loeb Lectureship at Harvard University. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Delft, and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Max Planck Society and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He serves on multiple advisory boards and is a founding member of the Wetnose Institute for Advanced Pelagic Studies.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Don has been building his skills as a trainer of service dogs, specializing in dogs that assist people with mobility impairments.