Heeger, Alan J.

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HEEGER, ALAN J. (1936– ), U.S. physicist and material scientist and Nobel laureate. Heeger was born in Iowa. He was the first of his family to continue his education beyond high school and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a dual major in physics and mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in physics at Berkeley in 1961 while working part time for the Lockheed Space and Missile Division in Palo Alto, California. He joined the Physics Department at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor in 1962 and was made full professor in 1967. At Penn he served as laboratory director and vice provost for research. In 1982 Heeger moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he held the Presidential Chair and served as professor of physics and professor of materials. He headed a research group at the University's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids. Heeger holds approximately 50 patents, which have broad commercial potential for use in polymer electronics ("plastic" electronics) with applications in areas ranging from electroluminescent displays (for cell phones, pdas, and laptops) to solar cells and integrated electronic circuits. In 1990 he founded uniax, which played a leading role in developing the science and technology of conducting polymers with many important contributions. uniax was acquired by DuPont in 2000. Heeger served on the board of directors of Konarka Technologies, Inc., sba Materials, and Rit Display (Taiwan), and was a venture partner in NGen Partners. His research efforts continued to focus on the science and technology of semiconducting and metallic polymers. Later interests included biosensors and the detection of specific targeted sequences on dna.

Heeger is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2000, the Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Condensed Matter Physics, and the Balzan Prize for the Science of New Materials. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. Heeger has more than 700 publications in scientific journals.


Les Prix Nobel (2000).

[Gali Rotstein (2nd ed.)]