Alan J. Heeger
Heeger in 2013
Alan Jay Heeger
January 22, 1936
Sioux City, Iowa, United States
|Alma mater||University of Nebraska|
University of California, Berkeley
|Spouse(s)||Ruth (2 children)|
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2000)|
Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1983)
|Institutions||University of Pennsylvania|
University of California, Santa Barbara
|Doctoral advisor||Alan Portis|
Life and career
Heeger was born in Sioux City, Iowa, to a Jewish family. He grew up in Akron, Iowa, where his father owned a general store. At age nine, following his father's death, the family moved to Sioux City.
Heeger earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1957, and a Ph.D in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. From 1962 to 1982 he was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1982 he commenced his present appointment as a professor in the Physics Department and the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research has led to the formation of numerous start-up companies including Uniax, Konarka, and Sirigen, founded in 2003 by Guillermo C. Bazan, Patrick J. Dietzen, Brent S. Gaylord. Alan Heeger was a founder of Uniax, which was acquired by DuPont.
He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000 along with Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa "for their discovery and development of conductive polymers;" They published their results on polyacetylene a conductive polymer in 1977
In October 2010, Heeger participated in the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Lunch with a Laureate program where middle and high school students engage in an informal conversation with a Nobel Prize-winning scientist over a brown-bag lunch. Heeger is also a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board. Heeger has been a judge of the STAGE International Script Competition three times (2006, 2007, 2010).
"Perhaps the greatest pleasure of being a scientist is to have an abstract idea, then to do an experiment (more often a series of experiments is required) that demonstrates the idea was correct; that is, Nature actually behaves as conceived in the mind of the scientist. This process is the essence of creativity in science. I have been fortunate to have experienced this intense pleasure many times in my life." Alan J Heeger, Never Lose Your Nerve! 
- Heeger, Alan (1977). "One-Dimensional Phonons and "Phase-Ordering" Phase Transition in Hg3-deltaAsF6". Physical Review Letters. 39 (23): 1484–1487. Bibcode:1977PhRvL..39.1484H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.39.1484.
- Heeger, Alan (1977). "Electrical Conductivity in Doped Polyacetylene". Physical Review Letters. 39 (17): 1098–1101. Bibcode:1977PhRvL..39.1098C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.39.1098.
- Heeger, A. J. and A. G. MacDiarmid. "Polyacetylene, (CH)x, as an Emerging Material for Solar Cell Applications. Final Technical Report, March 19, 1979 - March 18, 1980," University of Pennsylvania, United States Department of Energy, (June 5, 1980).
- Heeger, A. J., Sinclair, M., et al. "Subgap Absorption in Conjugated Polymers," Sandia National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, (1991).
- Heeger, A. J., Sinclair, M., et al. "Measurements of Photo-induced Changes in Conjugated Polymers," Sandia National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, (1991).
- "Alan Heeger - Biographical". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Shirakawa, Hideki; Louis, Edwin J.; MacDiarmid, Alan G.; Chiang, Chwan K.; Heeger, Alan J. (1977). "Synthesis of electrically conducting organic polymers: Halogen derivatives of polyacetylene, (CH) x". Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications (16): 578. doi:10.1039/C39770000578.
- "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000: Alan Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid, Hideki Shirakawa".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-12-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2013-04-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "STAGE Judges". Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Never Lose Your Nerve! http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9724
- Curriculum Vitae of Alan J. Heeger, posted at University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved November 18, 2007
- Heeger Nobel Prize lecture
- Free to view video interview, Harry Kroto NL talks to Alan Heeger, 2005, provided by the Vega Science Trust
- UCSB profile
- Nobel Prize Documentation
- Photos and video from presentation in Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic