Aleksey Ekimov recieved his PhD in physics in 1974 at the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, Russia. He worked at the Vavilov State Optical Institute, Russia for many years. There, he performed research with semiconductor nanocrystals, research which eventually led to the discovery of quantum dots. For this work, he has received the 2006 Alexander von Humboldt Award and the 2006 R. W. Wood Prize, together with Louis E. Brus and Alexander L. Efros. Since 1999, Ekimov has been the Chief Scientist at Nanocrystals Technology Inc., USA.