Published: April 2, 2024 By

Photo caption:  The Schwartz lab discovered that molecules move around on surfaces via a complex type of motion involving crawling, hopping and flying.

Dan Schwartz
           Professor Dan Schwartz

Professor Daniel K. Schwartz has been honored with the prestigious American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry 2024 Langmuir Lectureship award. He was nominated by his colleagues for significant contributions to the field of colloid and interface science.

Colloids are mixtures in which one substance is finely dispersed in another substance. Interface science refers to the boundaries between different phases of matter, such as between two unmixable liquids, or between a liquid and a solid. 

Schwartz, a professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, said the award was significant for several reasons. 

“Most importantly, it recognizes the excellence of research performed by my PhD students and postdocs, past and present,” he said. “The recognition is also special because it is sponsored jointly by the ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry and the ACS journal Langmuir, both of which are very close to my heart. The namesake of the award, Irving Langmuir, a Nobel laureate and the foundational figure of surface science, is a long-time scientific hero of mine.”

Schwartz will receive a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration and reimbursement for travel expenses to the ACS fall 2024 meeting and a $3,000 award. He  will also deliver a special lecture at the ACS fall 2024 symposium.

Single molecule/nanoparticle tracking microscopy is used to study transport in the liquid-filled void spaces of porous materials.
Single molecule/nanoparticle tracking microscopy is
used to study transport in the liquid-filled void spaces of
porous materials.

Schwartz’s colloid and interface science research carries significant practical implications for various fields. These include membrane-separation processes and biocatalysis applications such as water purification, wastewater treatment, food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. His work also extends to chemical production as well as environmental remediation and biofuel synthesis.

“Dan’s contributions to fundamental understanding of dynamic interfacial phenomena are extraordinary,” the nominators said in a letter to the selection committee. “He has provided new windows into monolayers at interfaces, on solid boundaries and new approaches to understanding fundamental transport of confined molecules, nanoparticles and active particles in porous media. This work is of extraordinary scope and rigor.”

The award also entails an expectation that Schwartz will submit a feature article for publication in Langmuir within six months following his lectureship presentation.

“It is incredibly satisfying to share the award with my PhDs and postdocs,” Schwartz said. “I’m eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to describe their work to the award lecture audience in August.”