Physics & Materials

Alan Heeger


Alan Heeger and his colleagues discovered conducting polymers (for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize), a novel class of materials with electrical and optical properties like metals and semiconductors coupled with the mechanical and processing advantages of polymers. Heeger continues to study aspects of the science and technology of these materials with a focus on the gate-induced insulator-to-metal transition in polymer Field Effect Transistors, understanding the detailed operation of bulk heterojunction "plastic" solar cells, and improving the efficiency of low-cost organic solar cells based on plastic and small molecule semiconductors.


Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, Co-Founder
Center for Energy Efficient Materials, Co-Founder
Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials, Steering Committee Member


Heeger was a member of the Physics Department at the University of Pennsylvania from 1962-82. In 1982, he moved to UC Santa Barbara to become Professor of Physics. He was one of the founding members of the Materials Department and currently holds a joint appointment in Physics and Materials.


2001 Chancellor's Medal, University of California, Santa Barbara
2001 President's Medal for Distinguished Acheivement, University of Pennsylvania
2001 National Academy of Science, Member
2001 Korean Academy of Science, Member
2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
2000 Institute of Physics, UK Fellow
1995 Balzan Prize for the Science of New Materials
1983 Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Condensed Matter Physics
2002 National Academy of Engineering, Member
2005 Chinese Academy of Science, Member


PhD: UC Berkeley (1961)

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IEE Research Areas