Dr. Don Eigler is a physicist who specializes in studying the physics of surfaces and nanometer-scale structures. In late 1989, using the liquid-helium-temperature scanning tunneling microscope that he had built, Dr. Eigler demonstrated for the first time the ability to build structures at the atomic level by spelling out "I-B-M" with individual xenon atoms.
Dr. Eigler was educated at the University of California at San Diego, where he received a bachelor's degree in physics (1975) and a doctorate in physics (1984). He was a Postdoctoral Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories for two years before joining IBM as a Research Staff Member in 1986. In 1993, Dr. Eigler was named an IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the corporation.
Dr. Eigler is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.. In 1999, he became the first winner of the Nanoscience Prize, which he received at the Fifth International Conference on Atomically Controlled Surfaces, Interfaces, and Nanostructures.