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Winner of the IUPAC Prize
for Young Chemists - 2008


Scott C. Warren wins one of the five IUPAC Prizes for Young Chemists, for his Ph.D. thesis work entitled "Nanoparticle-block copolymer-self-assembly."

Current address (at the time of application)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland

E-mail: scott.warren@epfl.ch

Academic degrees

  • Ph.D. Cornell University, August 2007, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • M.S. Cornell University, May 2004, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • B.A. Whitman College, May 2002, Chemistry

Ph.D. Thesis

Title Nanoparticle-block-copolymer-self-assembly

Adviser Professor Francis J. DiSalvo

Thesis Committee Prof. Ulrich Wiesner, Materials Science & Engineering; Prof. Hector D. Abruña, Chemistry & Chemical Biology; and Prof. Geoff W. Coates, Chemistry & Chemical Biology


Fuel cells are a promising technology with respect to power generation because of the potential for efficient conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy. Despite extensive research on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the materials comprising the electrodes are disordered, which impedes optimization of structural parameters. A radical improvement in performance, stability, and platinum utilization may be achieved through self-assembly of the electrode.
Nanoparticle-block copolymer self-assembly provides a route to design ordered mesostructures (structures with characteristic length scales of 2 to 50 nm). I discuss the chemistries and design concepts needed to self-assemble ordered mesoporous materials with high metal loadings. First, I present experimental evidence that nanoparticle size dramatically influences self-assembly. Next, I discuss a sol-gel chemistry that incorporates high loadings of metals into electrically conductive mesostructures. I highlight metal nanoparticles with liquid like behavior that enable the self-assembly of ordered mesoporous metals......[full text; pdf file - 1.08MB]

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