Christopher B. Murray
Richard Perry University Professor
As a globally influential creator of new materials at the nanoscale, Christopher Murray explores novel ways to improve energy and environmental sustainability, information processing, and human health. He works across scientific boundaries to develop new chemical methods to create building blocks at the 1- to 100-nanometer scale for materials to address these challenges.
Murray holds 26 current and four pending patents for inventions at the nanoscale, a domain 100,000 times smaller than the width of a sheet of paper where unusual strength, conductivity, elasticity, bio-compatibility, and optical capabilities emerge. He uses Penn’s Singh Center for Nanotechnology as a crucible for discovery, commercialization, and education across academic disciplines, and maintains research partnerships with information technology, aerospace, specialty chemicals, and life sciences companies.
An elected fellow of the Materials Resource Society, Murray was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Utrecht for his contributions to materials for sustainable energy, and chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Councils on Nanotechnology and Emerging Technologies. His methods to create semiconductor nanocrystals have been cited more than 5,000 times, and have been embedded in energy-efficient TV and cell phone screens, experimental solar cells, and medical imaging agents. Murray’s research is published in Nature, Nature Materials, Science, Nature Chemistry, Nature Nanotechnology, and Journal of the American Chemical Society. He serves on journal editorial boards for Nano Today and Chemistry of Materials and, prior to joining Penn in 2007, was a manager at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Division, where he was designated a “master inventor.”
Murray teaches freshman honors chemistry and a graduate-level course in materials design for energy and environmental sustainability. He is driven by his vision to inspire and prepare emerging scientific leaders to create non-toxic nanomaterials from abundantly available natural resources to help future generations cope with scarcity.
Murray earned his B.Sci. in 1989 from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1995 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work on semiconductor nanocrystals was honored with the American Chemical Society’s 1997 Nobel Laureate Signature Award.
About the Donor
Richard Perry, W'77, gave the inaugural gift in support of the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) initiative, a cornerstone of former Penn President Amy Gutmann’s vision for propelling Penn from excellence to eminence.