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U of T chemist wins DuPont award for conductive polymers research

Research into conductive polymers has earned University of Toronto chemistry professor Dwight Seferos a 2011 DuPont Young Professor award.


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June 29, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Research into conductive polymers has earned University of Toronto chemistry professor Dwight Seferos a 2011 DuPont Young Professor award.

Seferos was among 17 researchers from universities across the world, including 11 in the U.S., to receive the award this year. Each recipient will receive US$75,000 (or its equivalent in relevant currency) in three annual grants of US$25,000.

Seferos and his research team are focusing on conjugated polymers as a replacement for silicon semiconductors. Conjugation is a way of making a polymer conductive, for possible use in electronic components – in particular those that absorb or emit light or conduct electricity.

The advantage of replacing the silicon semiconductors with plastic is that the plastic element is about 1,000 times thinner than the silicon, costs less to manufacture, and is less harmful to the environment.

“The DuPont Young Professor program is a way to identify talented researchers and promising science early in a new professor’s career,” said Douglas Muzyka, DuPont’s senior vice-president and chief science and technology officer. “These grants encourage highly original research of value to DuPont while helping the young professors begin their academic research careers.”

The DuPont Young Professor program began in 1967. According to DuPont, research by the class of 2011 Young Professors centres on solar energy, biomolecular sciences, polymer science, nanotechnology, entomology, chemistry, chemical engineering, statistics, animal biology and life sciences. For a complete list of this year’s winners, go to this link.