James R. Heath Ph.D.

Heath, James R.
Position Department / Business Unit
Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry Department of Chemistry
Institution Disciplines
Caltech Chemistry
City State / Provence
Pasadena California
Country Website
US link
(310) 206-4038

James R. Heath is an American chemist and a professor at the Department of Chemistry, Caltech.

Heath is known for publishing an architecture demonstration of molecular computers, or moletronics. In moletronics, single molecules serve as switches, "quantum wires" a few atoms thick serve as wiring, and the hardware is synthesized chemically from the bottom up. It was published in the summer of 1999 by Heath, J. Fraser Stoddart (Chemist at UCLA) and their collaborators in the journal Science.

When Heath was at Rice University, he ran the experimental apparatus that generated the first C60 molecules and, ultimately, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the three senior members of the collaboration: Robert F. Curl and Richard E. Smalley of Rice University and Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex.


Heath graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1984 from Baylor University in Texas. He completed his Ph.D. in Physics and Chemistry from Rice University in 1988.

Career Highlights

From 1988 to 1991, he was a Miller Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. From 1991 to 1994, he was a Research Staff Member at IBM T.J. Watson Research Laboratory in Yorktown, New York. He joined the faculty at UCLA in 1994 and became Professor of Chemistry in 1997.


Spiers Medal Royal Society (2005)
Arthur K. Doolittle Award (2004)
Scientific American Top 50 (2002)
ISI Highly Cited Researcher (since 2002)
Commendation from Governor Gray Davis (2002)
Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (2001)
LA Business Journal Technologist of the Year (2001)
Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (2000)
Jules Springer Prize for Applied Physics (2000)
Fellow of the American Physical Society (1999)
Vanity Fair Magazine Hall of Fame (1999)
Seaborg Award (1997)
Sloan Fellowship (1997)
Packard Fellowship (1994)
NSF-NYI Award (1994)
Miller Fellowship (1988)
Rice Univ. Graduate Award for the Discovery of C60, the fullerenes, and La @ C60 (1987)

By this Researcher

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