Argonne Distinguished Fellow Dieter M. Gruen (MSD) will retire from Argonne Friday, June 29, 2012 after 65 years of service to the laboratory. A wine and cheese reception will be held in his honor Thursday, June 28, 4-6 p.m. at the Argonne Guest House. RSVP to Julie Emery at
by Wednesday, June 20 to attend.
Gruen’s career, which spans six decades at Argonne, covers key points in the laboratory’s history. A few of his many notable accomplishments have ranged from the discovery of ultrananocrystalline diamond for which he received the 2000 MRS Medal, to the invention of a 308-nm excimer laser system for cardiovascular applications, which was nominated as one of the top 100 scientific contributions during the Department of Energy's history.
Gruen received his B.S. cum laude (1944) and his M.S. (1947) degrees in chemistry from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. (1951) in chemical physics from the University of Chicago. Shortly after receiving his B.S., Gruen joined the team engaged in the large-scale electromagnetic separation of uranium-235, which was a part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.
Gruen went on to contribute in seminal studies that led to the discovery of the 5f electronic structure of several of the actinide elements, using low-temperature magnetic susceptibility and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques. He pioneered the field of absorption spectroscopy in high-temperature liquids, and his research led to the discovery of important basic findings in fission, fusion and solar energy, as well as energy storage and conservation. His other major research contributions include the creation of solution chemistry in fused salts, the discovery of interactions of reactive molecular and atomic species with noble gas matrixes, and the design of metal alloy hydrides for energy storage and heat pump applications to name a few.
Gruen’s research has been driven by a strong desire for a deeper understanding of the science of materials that would allow the creation of totally new approaches to energy production, storage and distribution. He has published more than 400 scientific papers that have been cited more than 10,000 times, and he holds 40 patents. In addition to his many scientific accomplishments, Gruen has held many leadership roles, as a group leader and associate division director, at Argonne during his 65 years.
Due to his extraordinary career at Argonne, with many world-leading accomplishments, the title of Emeritus will be conferred on Gruen upon his retirement at Argonne. His continued involvement at the laboratory will allow the research enterprise to tap his wide range of experience and will allow him to continue to be a role model and mentor to younger staff.