1927 - 2007
Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid was born in New Zealand and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Victoria University College in New Zealand and he received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and a second PhD from Cambridge University, England. Dr. MacDiarmid came to be known as the "Father of Conductive Polymers."
He was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of conductive polymers or plastics that conduct electricity like metals, more commonly known as "synthetic" metals. Dr. MacDiarmid was the chemist responsible in 1977 for the chemical and electrochemical doping of polyacetylene (CH)x, the prototype conducting polymer, and the "rediscovery" of polyaniline, now the foremost conducting polymer. This work led to technological applications for these materials in such diverse areas as rechargeable batteries, electromagnetic interference shielding, antistatic dissipation, stealth materials, corrosion inhibition, flexible "plastic" transistors and electrodes and electroluminescent polymer displays, to name but a few. Many of these continue to be pursued today.
In 1988 he was named Blanchard Professor of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania and in 2002 Professor of Chemistry and James Von Her Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology, University of Texas, Dallas.
Among the honors he received were the 1971 Frederich Stanley Kipping Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS); the 1999 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Materials Chemistry; the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of conductive polymers; and the 2001 Society of Plastics Engineers' International Award. MacDiarmid was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2008.