Materials Department faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Physical Society

Friday, September 20, 2019

Two UCSB Materials Department faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS) for 2019.

Prof. Omar Saleh, Professor of Materials and Biomolecular Science and Engineering was selected by the Division of Biological Physics “for outstanding contributions to single-molecule biophysics, including development of magnetic tweezer instrumentation and its use in elucidating electrostatic and self-avoidance contributions to biopolymer structure, as well as mechanisms of motion of ring-shaped ATPases along DNA." “There is special significance for me to be elected as a fellow,” said Saleh. “As a young graduate student in 1999, I attended the centennial APS meeting and was blown away by the range of ideas on display. It was that meeting that really confirmed for me that I should pursue a career in science. So, it is extra meaningful to now be honored by the same society that had such a profound effect on me.” Saleh’s research group studies the physical principles governing the behavior of soft, biological molecules and materials. Biomolecules take part in a wide array of complex interactions and behaviors, so untangling them will lead to new insights into what it means to be alive, as well as generate ideas and opportunities for new applications.

Prof. Michael Chabinyc, Professor of Materials was selected by the Division of Polymer Physics and cited “for contributions to the understanding of relationships between structure and electronic properties of conjugated polymers, and the translation of these relationships to functional devices such as transistors and solar cells.” “I am honored to be selected,” said Chabinyc, who was named a Materials Research Society fellow earlier this year. “I believe the selection of multiple faculty who study synthetic polymers and biopolymers recognizes the strength of UCSB in soft materials.” Chabinyc, Chair of the Materials Department, studies how to make electronic devices from polymers that conduct electricity. These materials can be printed from solvents, like an ink, to produce flexible transistors and solar cells. By using X-rays and electron microscopy to study how these polymers pack together at the nanoscale, Chabinyc develops new rules for structural design of these functional materials.

Founded in 1899 “to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics,” APS currently has 50,000 members worldwide. Each year, no more than one half of one percent of the Society’s membership (excluding student members) is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow of the American Physical Society.

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Awards and Accolades