Majed Chergui

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Majed Chergui
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Born1956 (age 67–68)
Known forUltrafast X-ray spectroscopy
AwardsLiversidge Award 2019
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of London
Doctoral advisorJacques Bauche
Other academic advisorsVenkataraman Chandrasekharan
Nikolaus Schwentner
Academic work
Sub-disciplineAtomic physics
InstitutionsÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Majed Chergui (born 1956 in Casablanca) is a Switzerland and French physicists specialized in ultrafast dynamics of light-induced processes. He is a professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the head of the Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne of Basic Sciences.[1]


Chergui was born in Casablanca (Morocco), and grew up in Algeria and Lebanon. He studied physics and mathematics at the Chelsea College of Science and Technology of London and received his Bachelor's degree in 1977. In 1978, he received a Master's degree in Atomic physics from Paris-Sud University. He then joined Jacques Bauche at Paris-Sud University as a PhD student and graduated in 1981 in physics. In 1986, he received a Habilitation in physics under supervision of Venkataraman Chandrasekharan at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord.[2] He then joined Nikolaus Schwentner at Free University of Berlin as a postdoctoral researcher.[3] In 1987, he became a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Free University of Berlin.[4] He joined the Institute for Experimental Physics as a senior research assistant at the of the Freie Universität Berlin in 1990.[5] From 1993 to 2003 he was professor experimental condensed matter physics at the University of Lausanne.[6] In, 1996 he was guest professor at National University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires, Argentina,[7] and from 1999 to 2000 research associate at the American University of Beirut.[8]

Since 2003, he has been professor of physics and chemistry at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and the head of the Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

He was twice Guest Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Max-Born-Institut and at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (2009-2010), and at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society.


Chergui's research laboratory is interested in the description of ultrafast dynamics of light-induced processes in molecules, solids and proteins, and in metallic and semiconductor Nanomaterials. Their specialty is the real time visualizations of processes by employing ultrafast Spectroscopy.[9] They investigate physical processes such as structural changes in the Chromophore and the medium, and the influence of local Electric field on their spectral and dynamical features.[10][11] They also study the ultrafast dynamics of charge carriers in semiconductor and metallic Nanostructure. The research tools they use encompass ultrafast picosecond and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy.


Chergui is the recipient of the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology 2021 from the American Chemical Society,[12] the Liversidge Award 2019 by the Royal Society of Chemistry,[13] the Khwarizmi International Award 2018,[14] the Edward Stern Prize for Lifetime Achievements 2015,[15] Humboldt Research Award 2010,[16] the Rammal Medal 2007 by the Euroscience Foundation,[17] and the Miller Award 2002.[8]

He is a member of the Academy of Arab Scientists (2020), an Elettra Distinguished Scientist (2020) Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, a fellow of The Optical Society, and fellow of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the European Physical Society.[8]

He is the editor in chief at the American Crystallographic Association.

Selected works

  • Cannizzo, A.; Milne, C.J.; Consani, C.; Gawelda, W.; Bressler, Ch.; Van Mourik, F.; Chergui, M. (2010). "Light-induced spin crossover in Fe(II)-based complexes: The full photocycle unraveled by ultrafast optical and X-ray spectroscopies" (PDF). Coordination Chemistry Reviews. 254 (21–22): 2677–2686. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2009.12.007.
  • Auböck, Gerald; Chergui, Majed (2015). "Sub-50-fs photoinduced spin crossover in [Fe(bpy)3]2+". Nature Chemistry. 7 (8): 629–633. Bibcode:2015NatCh...7..629A. doi:10.1038/nchem.2305. PMID 26201738.
  • Bressler, Christian; Chergui, Majed (2010). "Molecular Structural Dynamics Probed by Ultrafast X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy". Annual Review of Physical Chemistry. 61: 263–282. doi:10.1146/annurev.physchem.012809.103353. PMID 20055677.
  • El Nahhas, Amal; Consani, Cristina; Blanco-RodríGuez, Ana María; Lancaster, Kyle M.; Braem, Olivier; Cannizzo, Andrea; Towrie, Michael; Clark, Ian P.; ZáLiš, Stanislav; Chergui, Majed; VlčEk, Antonín (2011). "Ultrafast Excited-State Dynamics of Rhenium(I) Photosensitizers [Re(Cl)(CO)3(N,N)] and [Re(imidazole)(CO)3(N,N)]+: Diimine Effects" (PDF). Inorganic Chemistry. 50 (7): 2932–2943. doi:10.1021/ic102324p. PMID 21388162.
  • Milne, C.J.; Penfold, T.J.; Chergui, M. (2014). "Recent experimental and theoretical developments in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopies". Coordination Chemistry Reviews. 277–278: 44–68. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2014.02.013.
  • Chergui, Majed (2015). "Ultrafast Photophysics of Transition Metal Complexes". Accounts of Chemical Research. 48 (3): 801–808. doi:10.1021/ar500358q. PMID 25646968.
  • Milne, C.J.; Penfold, T.J.; Chergui, M. (2014). "Recent experimental and theoretical developments in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopies". Coordination Chemistry Reviews. 277–278: 44–68. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2014.02.013.
  • Femtochemistry : ultrafast chemical and physical processes in molecular systems : Lausanne, Switzerland, September 4-8, 1995. Chergui, Majed., Femtochemistry: the Lausanne Conference (1995 : University of Lausanne). Singapore: World Scientific. 1996. ISBN 981-02-2514-8. OCLC 35320163.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. "Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy LSU". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  2. Silvi, B.; Chandrasekharan, V.; Chergui, M.; Etters, R. D. (1986-02-15). "Frequency shifts of vibrational and rotational states of dilute H 2 , D 2 , and HD impurities in solid Ar under pressure". Physical Review B. 33 (4): 2749–2756. Bibcode:1986PhRvB..33.2749S. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.33.2749. ISSN 0163-1829. PMID 9938615.
  3. Chergui, M.; Schwentner, N.; Chandrasekharan, V. (December 1987). "Vibrationally "hot" valence luminescence of NO in Ne matrices". Journal of Luminescence. 38 (1–6): 150–151. Bibcode:1987JLum...38..150C. doi:10.1016/0022-2313(87)90090-1.
  4. "Editorial Board". ACA – Structural Dynamics.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Reaction dynamics in clusters and condensed phases : proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Jerusalem Symposium on Quantum Chemistry and Biochemistry held in Jerusalem, Israel, May 17-20, 1993. Jortner, Joshua., Levine, Raphael D., Pullman, Bernard, 1919-. Dordrecht: Springer. 1994. ISBN 978-94-011-0786-0. OCLC 847669757.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. Saes, Melanie; van Mourik, Frank; Gawelda, Wojciech; Kaiser, Maik; Chergui, Majed; Bressler, Christian; Grolimund, Daniel; Abela, Rafael; Glover, Thornton E.; Heimann, Philip A.; Schoenlein, Robert W. (January 2004). "A setup for ultrafast time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy". Review of Scientific Instruments. 75 (1): 24–30. Bibcode:2004RScI...75...24S. doi:10.1063/1.1633003. ISSN 0034-6748.
  7. "MEMORIA 2003" (PDF). UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE QUILMES.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "CV - Chergui" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Szlachetko, Jakub; Sá, Jacinto; Nachtegaal, Maarten; Hartfelder, Urs; Dousse, Jean-Claude; Hoszowska, Joanna; Abreu Fernandes, Daniel Luis; Shi, Hongqing; Stampfl, Catherine (2014-01-02). "Real Time Determination of the Electronic Structure of Unstable Reaction Intermediates during Au 2 O 3 Reduction". The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 5 (1): 80–84. doi:10.1021/jz402309s. ISSN 1948-7185. PMID 26276184.
  10. Wolf, T. J. A.; Myhre, R. H.; Cryan, J. P.; Coriani, S.; Squibb, R. J.; Battistoni, A.; Berrah, N.; Bostedt, C.; Bucksbaum, P.; Coslovich, G.; Feifel, R. (December 2017). "Probing ultrafast ππ*/nπ* internal conversion in organic chromophores via K-edge resonant absorption". Nature Communications. 8 (1): 29. arXiv:1610.08498. Bibcode:2017NatCo...8...29W. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00069-7. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 5481431. PMID 28642477.
  11. Leonard, J.; Portuondo-Campa, E.; Cannizzo, A.; Mourik, F. v.; van der Zwan, G.; Tittor, J.; Haacke, S.; Chergui, M. (2009-05-12). "Functional electric field changes in photoactivated proteins revealed by ultrafast Stark spectroscopy of the Trp residues". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (19): 7718–7723. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.7718L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0812877106. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2683101. PMID 19416877.
  12. Linda Wang (2020-08-17). "ACS 2021 national award winners". C&EN Global Enterprise. 98 (31): 58–59. doi:10.1021/cen-09831-acsnews. ISSN 2474-7408.
  13. "Preise der Royal Society of Chemistry 2019". Angewandte Chemie. 131 (30): 10143–10144. 2019-07-22. doi:10.1002/ange.201906585. ISSN 0044-8249.
  14. "Khwarizmi International Award 31st Session - 2018 | Khwarizmi International Award (KIA)". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  15. Grunwaldt, J-D; Hagelstein, M; Rothe, J (May 2016). "The 16 th International Conference on X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS16)". Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 712 (1): 011001. Bibcode:2016JPhCS.712a1001G. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/712/1/011001. ISSN 1742-6588.
  16. "Prof. Dr. Majed Chergui". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  17. EuroScience (2009-01-25). "Rammal Award 2000-2008 laureates". EuroScience. Retrieved 2020-12-16.

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