MacDiarmid, Alan Graham

MacDiarmid, Alan Graham,

1927–2007, American chemist, b. Masterton, New Zealand, Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, 1953, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1955. MacDiarmid was on the faculty at the Univ. of Pennsylvania from 1955 until his death in 2007. In 2000 he, Alan HeegerHeeger, Alan Jay,
1936–, American physicist and chemist, b. Sioux City, Iowa, Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1961. Heeger has held faculty positions at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1962–82) and the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (1982–).
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, and Hideki ShirakawaShirakawa, Hideki,
1936–, Japanese chemist, Ph.D. Tokyo Institute of Technology, 1966. Shirakawa was a research assistant at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1966 to 1979. He then taught at the Univ.
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 were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of conductive polymer plastics. Plastics have long been used as insulators because of their apparent inability to conduct electricity, but MacDiarmid and his corecipients discovered that through chemical modification some polymers can be made as conductive as metals. The development of conductive polymers contributed to the emerging field of molecular electronics.