Professor honored for paper at American Chemical Society meeting

Mariah Chuprinski
November 23, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Enrique Gomez, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering with a co-appointment in the Materials Research Institute, was recently honored with the Arthur K. Doolittle Award from the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Division of Polymeric Materials.  

His award-winning paper, “Fundamental properties of conjugated polymers from the chemical structure,” was chosen for its content, originality, development of new concepts and the quality of his presentation at the ACS national meeting. 

A head and shoulders shot of a man wearing a suit.

Enrique Gomez, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering with a co-appointment in the Materials Research Institute, leads the Gomez Lab Group, which focuses its research on connecting the chemistry, structure and macroscopic properties of complex soft matter.

IMAGE: Penn State College of Engineering

“I am honored and delighted to be a recipient of the Doolittle Award,” Gomez said. “The work I highlighted during my presentation are products of long-standing collaborations with two colleagues at Penn State, Scott Milner and Ralph Colby, and I am very grateful for their mentorship, guidance and support over many years.” 

Milner is the William H. Joyce Chair Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Colby is a professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences with a co-appointment in chemical engineering.  

The paper discusses properties of conjugated polymers from their chemical structure, such as the persistence length, glass transition temperature, nematic to isotropic transition and entanglement length. Gomez and his collaborators have developed new tools to predict these properties from the chemical structure. 

This work may lead to accelerated materials discovery efforts, in particular for the manufacture of novel flexible and stretchable electronic devices, like flexible displays, biosensors and printable solar cells. The work was supported by the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future program of the National Science Foundation. 

Gomez leads the Gomez Lab Group, which focuses its research on connecting the chemistry, structure and macroscopic properties of complex soft matter. The lab boasts synthesis capabilities; characterization tools such as X-ray scattering and electron microscopy; and in-house electrical device fabrication and testing. 

The current emphasis of the research group is on the relationship between microstructure and electrical properties in the active layers of organic thin film transistors and photovoltaics, and in the development of microstructure control in the creation of sustainable materials.  

“This award represents well-deserved recognition for Enrique and his research group,” said Phillip Savage, head of the Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering and Walter L. Robb Family Endowed Chair. “His work in conjugated polymers is opening new doors for the development of electronic devices.”

Previously, Gomez has received the Visiting Scientist Fellowship from the National Center for Electron Microscopy, the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award and the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Research Award.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 23, 2020