Heinrich Rohrer, 1933-2013
The Nicolás Cabrera Institute regrets the loss of Heinrich Rohrer.
Rohrer, named “father of nanotechnology” by many colleagues, has had close and friendly interactions with several members of the Nicolás Cabrera Institute. After having invented, together with Gerd Binnig, the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, Rohrer visited many times the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. The collaborations were very fruitful. One of the first Scanning Tunneling Microscopes ever built (see figure) is here in Madrid. His closest friends and collaborators like to remind us how he “brought this microscope in his car, directly from Zürich”. Heini, as he was termed by his friends, enthusiastically supported Physics in Spain during the eighties. These years were economically difficult, but thriving and full of hope. Rohrer promoted exchanges with IBM, and the use of scanning microscopes in Biology. His work has helped developing the strength of Physics in our University. We feel sad for this loss. But we are proud that the work in our Institute carries his imprint, and grateful for the opportunity given to us to interact with him.