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Theodore E. Madey
condensed matter chemistry surfaces

1. Introduction

Theodore E. Madey (October 24, 1937 – July 27, 2008) was an American condensed matter physicist who specialized in the chemistry and physics of surfaces. He was a professor in the physics and chemistry departments at Rutgers University at the time of his death.[1]

2. Early Life and Education

Theodore Eugene Madey was born in Wilmington, DE, and was raised in Baltimore, MD.[2][3][4] He was the descendant of Polish American immigrants who were amongst a wave of immigrants that fled instability and famine in Poland at the turn of the century.[5] His grandparents and parents lived in Delaware’s New Castle County at the time of his birth, where his Polish-born grandfather worked for a shipbuilding company.[6] At a young age, his family relocated to Baltimore, MD where he was raised,[2][3][4] and attended Loyola Blakefield High School. [3] He majored in physics at Loyola College, also in Baltimore, and completed a B.S. in 1959. In the summer following his graduation he was hired by one his college professors, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, to work in a physics laboratory with vacuum materials.[4] Madey went on to attend graduate school in physics at the University of Notre Dame and continued to work in the field of vacuum science. He completed his Ph.D. in physics in the experimental condensed matter group of Edward Coomes in 1963.[4][7][8]

3. Career

Madey's first appointment after graduation was at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), as a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow.[3][4] He was hired permanently, and remained there for 25 years, becoming the leader of the Surface Science and Kinetics group. While employed at NBS, he developed a close working relationship with John T. Yates, Jr., with whom he would go on to co-author more than 60 publications, and was jointly awarded the 1978 Samuel Wesley Stratton Award.[9] In 1988, he relocated to New Jersey, where he was appointed as the State of New Jersey Professor of Surface Science at Rutgers University, and mentored dozens of students and post-doctoral research associates.[2][3] He remained in this position until his death in 2008.[1] While at Rutgers, he hosted one of his former post-doctoral research associates, Prof. Ulrike Diebold, and her research group into his own research laboratory when Diebold's group was forced to temporarily evacuate in 2005 from Tulane University in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina.[10][11]

Madey served on a number of scientific editorial boards, and also held a variety of elected and appointed leadership roles in the AVS.[3], including President (2001).[12] He was also extensively involved with international outreach and served as the President (1992-1995), and Secretary-General (1986-1989) of the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA).[4]

4. Research

Madey's research activities fell into three areas:[3][13]

  • "Surface structure, electronic properties, and reactivity of bimetallic surfaces by atomic-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy, electron diffraction, and synchrotron radiation.
  • Mechanisms of electron - and photon-stimulated desorption of atoms and ions from surfaces (including charge transfer and energy transfer phenomena) using unique apparatus that permits angle-resolved ion detection.
  • Nucleation, growth, epitaxial structure and interfacial reactivity of ultrathin metal films on oxide surfaces and on polymer surfaces using electron and ion spectroscopies, coupled with high resolution (sub-nanometer) electron microscopy."

His technique using desorption of atoms induced by electronic transitions to study surfaces was known as (DIET).[14] It involved striking a surface with photons or electrons so as to cause an adsorbate to transition into a repulsive excited state, which if long-lived enough would cause it to be ejected from the surface carrying a significant amount of energy. In the case of a dielectric sample such as a halide or oxide, the phenomenon is capable of causing the ejection of surface atoms, leading to electron- or photon beam damage in surface analytical methods such as Auger Electron Spectroscopy or Photoelectron Spectroscopy. It also provided an explanation for why the atmosphere of the Moon and of Mercury have atmospheres enriched in sodium and potassium because of their exposure to solar wind.[15] [16] In collaboration with John T. Yates, Jr., Madey studied abrasion of monumental brass in historical structures. Their work is credited with playing a significant role in allowing the rubbing of brass to continue as a cleaning method, by revealing a rubbing method for brass that cleaned without abrading or destroying it.[17][18] Madey also co-authored, along with Patricia Thiel, a highly cited and comprehensive review article describing the interactions and properties of water near solid surfaces.[19][20]

A special issue of the Journal of Physics was published in 2010 to honor his memory.[14]

5. Honors and Awards

Madey received numerous awards and honors for the quality and creativity of his work, including an honorary Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Wroclaw in Poland in 2004, in recognition of a decade-long collaboration with colleagues in Poland.[21] Other honors include:

  • 1971 Fellow of the American Physical Society[22]
  • 1978 Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, jointly with John T. Yates, "for an unusually significant research contribution to science or engineering that merits the acclaim of the scientific world and supports NIST’s mission objectives"[9]
  • 1993 Fellow of the American Vacuum Society[23]
  • 1985 Medard W. Welch Award,"For his investigations of surface processes at a fundamental atomic and molecular level, especially the determination of absorbed molecule bonding geometries."[24]
  • 2003 Inducted into the NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists[25]

Two years after Madey’s death in 2008, the Theodore E. Madey Award was established by AVS to commemorate both his research and his leadership in international interactions of the AVS. The Award recipient is sponsored to visit Poland, present a seminar at the University, and engage in scientific discussions.[26]

6. Personal Life

Madey was born on October 24, 1937 in Wilmington, Delaware. He met his wife, Jane Mary Madey (Gunn), while he was in college by gaining access to a cast party following her performance at a nearby college.[27] They were married for 48 years, until his death on July 27, 2008 in Somerset, New Jersey. They had four children, Timothy Madey, Doretta Witt, Maureen O'Shea, and Daniel Madey, the first of whom was born while Madey was in graduate school at the University of Notre Dame.[2][27]

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Theodore E. (deceased) Madey". 
  2. Yates, John T. (2009). "Theodore E. Madey". Physics Today 62 (1): 66. doi:10.1063/1.3074270.
  3. Diebold, Ulrike (2009). "In memoriam of Theodore Eugene Madey, October 24, 1937 - July 27, 2008". Surface Science Reports 64 (2): iii. doi:10.1016/j.surfrep.2008.11.001. Bibcode: 2009SurSR..64D...3D.
  4. "Oral History Interview with Theodore E. (Ted) Madey". 
  5. "Theodore E. Madey in the 1940 Census". 
  6. "WWII "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards:Madey, Waclaw Michael (1883) › Page 1". 
  7. "Edward Arthur Coomes". 
  8. "Jane Mary Madey". The Frederick News-Post. January 15, 2016. Retrieved 2020-09-12. 
  9. "Madey-Yates day at NIST Library". Standards Alumni Association Newsletter 34 (1). 2018. 
  10. Wilson, Elizabeth (2005-11-21). "Tales from Tulane: Professors Ulrike Diebold and Larry Byers are anxious to get their labs running again". Chemical & Engineering News 83 (47): 15–16. doi:10.1021/cen-v083n047.p015.
  11. Feder, Toni (2005). "Science Community Rallies to Aid Students and Researchers Displaced by Hurricane Katrina". Physics Today 58 (11): 22–23. doi:10.1063/1.2155745. Bibcode: 2005PhT....58k..22F.
  12. "AVS Presidents". 
  13. "Madey Homepage". 
  14. Orlando, Thomas M; Diebold, Ulrike (2010). "The 12th International Workshop on Desorption Induced by Electronic Transitions (DIET XII) (Pine Mountain, Georgia, USA, 19–23 April 2009)". Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 22 (8): 080301. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/22/8/080301. PMID 21386356.
  15. Yakshinskiy, B.V.; Madey, T.E. (1999). "Photon-stimulated desorption as a substantial source of sodium in the lunar atmosphere". Nature 400 (6745): 642–644. doi:10.1038/23204. PMID 10458159. Bibcode: 1999Natur.400..642Y.
  16. "Rutgers Researchers Recreate The Moon's Atmosphere In The Lab". 
  17. Yates, J.; Madey, T.E.; Rook, H. (1973). "Wear of English Monumental Brasses caused by Brass Rubbing". Nature 243 (5407): 422–424. doi:10.1038/243422a0. Bibcode: 1973Natur.243..422Y.
  18. "Monumental brasses". 
  19. Thiel, Patricia A.; Madey, Theodore E. (1987). "The interaction of water with solid surfaces: Fundamental aspects". Surface Science Reports 7 (6–8): 211–385. doi:10.1016/0167-5729(87)90001-X. ISSN 0167-5729. Bibcode: 1987SurSR...7..211T.
  20. Hodgson, A.; Haq, S. (2009). "Water adsorption and the wetting of metal surfaces" (in en). Surface Science Reports 64 (9): 381–451. doi:10.1016/j.surfrep.2009.07.001. Bibcode: 2009SurSR..64..381H.
  21. "Doktorzy honoris causa Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego". 
  22. "APS Fellows archive". 
  23. "AVS Fellows". 
  24. "AVS Professional awards: Medard W. Welch Award". 
  25. "NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers, and Administrators - 2019". 
  26. "Theodore E. Madey Award for Surface Science". 
  27. "Jane Mary Madey Obituary". 
Name: Theodore E. Madey
Born: Oct 1937
Died: Jul 2008
Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Title: Physicist
Affiliation: National Bureau of Standards, Rutgers University
Honors: 1985 Medard W. Welch Award 2003 NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists
Subjects: Others
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