ICE | The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer | Issue 6

36 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 6 · July 2020 · Av 5780 History of Chemistry Articles History of electron microscopy for materials at the Weizmann Institute Reshef Tenne Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel Email: [email protected] Following three years as a postdoc in Battelle Geneva, I joined the Department of Plastics Research of the Weizmann Insitute (WIS) as a researcher in the summer of 1979. My research was funded by a Minerva (Germany) grant given to the photoelectrochemistry group in this department. This group, consisting of Prof. Joost Manassen z”l, Dr. David Cahen (from the Structural Chemistry Department) and Dr. Gary Hodes, had already made a name for itself in the mid- seventies by pioneering research on solar energy conversion using photoelectrochemical cells, based on cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide electrodes immersed in polysulfide electrolyte. Figure 1a shows one of the group meetings circa 1981 in the seminar room/library of the department in the basement of the Levine building (used now for genomic research). The Levine building and the two huts at the rear of the building, which hosted the department, were somewhat remote and isolated from the main Faculty of Chemistry premises, i.e. the Perlman and Bergman buildings. The research conditions were far from ideal, to say the least. However, the department staff was scientifically motivated and enthusiastic. At one point around 1983 we organized a football team and played once a week (see Figure 1b). The team lasted for several years, but I stopped one day in 1985 after a painful fall. Reshef Tenne earned his PhD in 1976 in the Hebrew University. He joined the Weizmann Institute in 1979, where he was promoted to professor in 1995. In 1992, he discovered a new family of nanomaterials - the so-called inorganic nanotubes (INT) and fullerene-like (IF) nanoparticles from layered compounds (2Dmaterials). He andhis researchgroup synthesized and studiedmany kinds of IF/INT. In the last decade, he studies mainly nanotubes from “misfit” layered compounds consisting of 3-5 elements each. His work led to the development of a new technology for solid lubrication and serve also as additives to reinforce polymer composites with myriad of applications. He received numerous awards, includingMRS Medal (2005), the Israel Chemical Society Excellence in Research Prize (2008), Rothschild Prize (2016) and recently the Technology Award of the International Union of the VacuumSocieties (2019) and the EMET Prize (2020). He is amember of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is currently Research (Emeritus) Professor at theWeizmann Institute. Figure 1a. Meeting of the photoelectrochemistry group in the seminar roomof the Levine building ca. 1981. Standing from left: BaruchVaines, Dr. Reshef Tenne, Prof. Joost Manassen, Dr. Gary Hodes, Dr. David Cahen, Menashe Lev, Harvey Flaisher and Stuart Licht; Sitting: Tina Engelhard .and Geula Dagan Figure 1b. Soccer teamof the Department of Plastics Research. Standing from left: Eyal Sabatani, Israel Rubinstein, Shlomo Margel, Yves Tricot, Dan Frenkel; kneeling from left: Zelu Itzikovitz, Daniel Wagner, Reshef .Tenne, Baruch Ittah