The Aminoff Prize 2013

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) has awarded the Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography 2013 to:

Carlo Gatti
Institute of Molecular Sciences and Technology, Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISTM)
Milan, Italy
Mark Spackman
University of Western Australia
Crawley, Australia

"for developing experimental and theoretical methods to study electron density in crystals, and using them to determine molecular and crystalline properties".

Nature of crystals measured by X-rays and interpreted in Italy and Australia

Crystallography is the science of the arrangement of atoms in solid materials. To reveal the atomic structure of a crystal, an 'X-ray diffraction method' may be used. In this method an X-ray beam strikes a crystal, showing a diffraction pattern that, in turn, can be transformed into a 3D model of the crystal. This technique is now widely used in geology, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and materials engineering. Purposes include determining mineral properties, proteins and DNA structures, and developing strong new materials.

Both Carlo Gatti and Mark Spackman have independently developed concepts for interpreting electron density distributions related to quantum chemistry theory, using multipole analysis of high-quality X-ray diffraction data. This approach has, in particular, significantly demonstrated and quantified the role of hydrogen bonding in molecular systems. 'Charge density topology' is important for classification of the type and strength of chemical bonding in solid compounds and molecules.

Read more about the Laureates' research at 

The Prize will be awarded at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' Annual Meeting on 5 April 2013.

Prize amount: SEK 100,000, to be shared equally between the Laureates.


Carlo Gatti, Italian citizen. Born in 1954. PhD in Chemistry (1978) at University of Milan. Senior Research Scientist at Institute of Molecular Sciences and Technology, Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISTM), Italy. 

Mark Spackman, Australian citizen. Born in 1954. PhD in Theoretical Chemistry (1989) at University of Western Australia. Wintrop Professor and Head of school at the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Western Australia, Australia.

SOURCE: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien (KVA)

For further information:

Press contact
Annika Moberg, Communications officer, RSAS, +46-8-6739522, +46-70-6739690,
Experts from the Prize committee
Sven Lidin, Professor of Inorganic chemistry, Lund University, +46-46-2224769, +46-72-7291030,
Hans Annersten, Professor em. of Mineral chemistry and petrology, Uppsala University, +46-18-4712550, +46-70-3304939,

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Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien (KVA)

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