Jian-Min Zuo wins 2023 Gjønnes Medal

Members of the 2023 Gjønnes Medal Committee

After reviewing the nominations and candidates, the selection committee agreed to propose Professor Jian-Min Zuo (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) as the recipient of the 2023 Gjønnes Medal for his outstanding contributions to the development and application of quantitative electron diffraction.

For more than 35 years, Jian-Min Zou has been at the frontline of the development of innovative methods based on electron diffraction. At the beginning of his career, he developed quantitative convergent electron beam diffraction and was one of the pioneers of establishing the technique for the determination of low-order structure factors, which allowed the study of charge density and bonding [(e.g. in Cu2O (Zuo et al., 1999)]. He was the first to demonstrate the use of coherent electron diffraction to retrieve atomic resolution images [e.g. carbon nanotubes (Zuo et al., 2003) and surfaces of Au nanocrystals (Huang et al., 2008)] by diffractive imaging, an intuition with pivotal importance also for X-ray crystallography. Later, he focused on the study of surfaces and defects, and demonstrated that both convergent and parallel electron diffraction can be efficiently used for studying local structures, defects, lattice strains and crystal orientations.

In addition, Jian-Min Zou is an active disseminator. Together with John Spence he wrote Electron Microdiffraction, one of the most studied textbooks on TEM and microdiffraction (Spence & Zuo, 1993). This book has become a key resource for an entire generation of young researchers entering the field of electron diffraction. He has been active in the promotion and maintenance of Web-EMAPS, cloudEMAPS and pyEMAPS tools, used for the accurate simulation of TEM images and diffraction patterns. This contribution has democratised the use of these detailed theoretical tools for non-experts in quantitative modelling of scattering in a TEM, and enlarged the scientific community that is working with TEM.


Huang, W. J., Sun, R., Tao, J., Menard, L. D., Nuzzo, R. G. & Zuo, J. M. (2008). Nat. Mater. 7, 308–313.

Spence, J. C. H. & Zuo, J. M. (1993). Electron Microdiffraction. New York: Springer.

Zuo, J., Kim, M., O'Keeffe, M. & Spence, J. C. H. (1999). Nature, 401, 49–52.

Zuo, J. M., Vartanyants, I., Gao, M., Zhang, R. & Nagahara, L. A. (2003). Science, 30, 1419–1421.


This award is managed by the Awards Sub-committee of the IUCr Commission on Electron Crystallography.

1 April 2023

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