Plastic Electronics and Optoelectronics


Date Friday September 1st 2006
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum


I will review recent progress in my labs at UC Santa Barbara in the field of “Plastic” electronics. I will focus on the insulator -to- metal transition in conjugated polymers including the emergence of gate-induced metallic state in field effect transistors — and on the progress toward high efficiency solar cells made from this class of materials.


Alan J. Heeger and his colleagues discovered conducting polymers, a novel class of materials with electrical and optical properties like metals and semiconductors, coupled with the mechanical and processing advantages of polymers. They won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000 "for the discovery and development of conductive polymers".

Dr. Alan J. Heeger received his BS degree with high distinction in 1957 from the University of Nebraska, and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. In 1962, he became an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, then became a Professor there (1967-82). He was Acting Vice-Provost for Research (1981-82), and Director, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (1978-81). He was also a Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of Geneva (1968-69). Dr. Heeger became Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1982. He was the Director for the Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids at UCSB (1982-1999). He also became Professor of Materials (in Engineering) at UCSB in 1985. In 1990, Dr. Heeger founded and chaired the UNIAX Corporation. He has acted as President, CEO, and Chief Scientist/ Chief Technical Officer. Dr. Heeger is also a member on the Board of Directors of QTL Biosystems in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dr. Heeger has received many notable honors and awards: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (1963-65), John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (1968-69), Fellow, American Physical Society (1968), Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Condensed Matter Physics (1983), John Scott Award for 1989, Balzan Prize, "Science of New Materials", Bern, Switzerland (1995), National Academy of Sciences (USA) (2001), University of Pennsylvania, President's Medal for Distinguished Achievement (2001), UCSB, Chancellor's Medal (2001), Korean Academy of Science (Foreign Member) (2001). Also, he has more than 650 scientific publications and approximately 50 patents.

Currently, Professor Heeger and his colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have done pioneering research in the area of highly conducting organic solids with recent emphasis on the class of materials known as semiconducting and metallic polymers. His current research interests lie in the development of the fundamental physics and chemistry which determine the electronic, optical properties of semiconducting and metallic polymers with the goal of making these novel materials available for applications in technology.

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