Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the Organic Chemistry Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
Born in Zurich in 1961, he received a M.S. degree from the ETH Zurich in 1986, and a Ph.D. at Stanford University in the USA in 1990. This was followed by two postdoctoral appointments at the University of Pittsburgh (1990 - 1991) and at the University of Michigan (1991). Renato Zenobi returned to Switzerland in 1992 as a Werner Fellow at the EPFL, Lausanne, where he established his own research group. He became assistant professor at the ETH in 1995, was promoted to associate professor in 1997, and to full professor in 2000. He was chairman of the Organic Chemistry Laboratory in 2002-2003 and 2011-2012, served as the president of ETH’s university assembly (Hochschulversammlung, HV) from 2006 – 2008, and of the lecturer’s conference (Konferenz des Lehrkörpers, KdL) at ETH Zurich 2006 - 2010. Zenobi was a visiting professor at the Barnett Institute (Boston) in 2004/2005, and at the Institut Curie (Paris) in 2010. In 2010 he was appointed Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry (American Chemical Society). He chaired the 2014 International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Zenobi’s research areas include laser-based analytical chemistry, electrospray and laser-assisted mass spectrometry, ambient mass spectrometry, and near-field optical microscopy and spectroscopy. He has made important contributions to the understanding of the ion formation mechanism in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry, and to ambient ionization methods. He is well known for the development of analytical tools for the nanoscale, in particular TERS (tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy), a spectroscopic methodology with ≈ 10 nm spatial resolution.