This Special Issue of Surface Science is dedicated to Gerhard Ertl, the 2007 Nobel-Laureate in Chemistry, who ‘‘has succeeded in providing a detailed description of how chemical reactions take place on surfaces and has in this way laid the foundation of modern surface chemistry”.
His former Diploma-and PhD-students, Habilitands, postdoctoral associates and other associated researchers who worked with him and ‘‘are still active in the ﬁeld of surface science,” as Gerhard Ertl has coined it, accepted with enthusiasm our invitation to write a contribution in honor of their former scientiﬁc mentor, host and leader. A number of other outstanding international researchers who were his ‘‘scientiﬁc fellow-travellers” over the years were also invited, and have contributed enthusiastically. The list following this Preface gives the names of the contributors, together with their afﬁliations to Ertl’s group. The extent of appreciation of all of them is best reﬂected by the size of this issue (hardly any complied with the suggested page limitation set in the original invitation), by the very personal style of their manuscripts, and by their accompanying letters to the guest-editor, saying for instance that
‘‘... we are very happy to be part of this issue ...”
‘‘... I will always be grateful and proud”.
‘‘I have beneﬁted greatly from his kindness, and discussions with him have helped me shape my own research program”.
‘‘... through his inspiration he has lightened a scientiﬁc ﬁre in so many, which he kept blazing afterwards through his continuous interest and support”.
Through this, Ertl has created a unique community of surface scientists worldwide who, ﬁrst of all, want to express their heartfelt congratulations and thanks. Moreover their contributions make this volume an excellent and timely overview of the ﬁeld (although it may be slightly selective in the topics covered due to the very nature of this issue) and impressively demonstrate the activity and evolving diversity of surface science, which, as one of them wrote,
‘‘... is the most beautiful ﬁeld of research to my opinion”.
There is nothing further to be added.
Charles T. Campbell