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Oral history interview with Mark A. Ratner

  • 2006-Apr-07

Mark A. Ratner begins the interview by describing his early connection to science while growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, working at the Harshaw Chemical Company as a high school summer job, and switching between various majors as an undergraduate student at Harvard University. After Harvard, Ratner attended graduate school at Northwestern University and became a postdoctoral fellow in Denmark and Munich. Upon returning to the US, Ratner began teaching at New York University for several years and worked with graduate student Avi Aviram to explore molecular rectifiers (later called molecular electronics). Ratner returned to Northwestern in 1975,this time as a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. Next Ratner reflected on collaboration with various institutions such as IBM and DARPA, and the development of molecular electronics research with Aviram. Moving on to the Gordon Research Conferences, Ratner described his experiences as an organizing chair; a member of the board of directors; and being on steering and selection (S&S) committee. Finally, Ratner concluded the interview reflecting on evolving funding practices, the importance of having a staff at research centers, and offering some thoughts on the future of nanotechnology.

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