Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

About the Department


Krzysztof Matyjaszewski receives national and local ACS awards

photo of Kris MatyjaszewskiKrzysztof Matyjaszewski is the recipient of two prestigious awards from the American Chemical Society for his extensive and creative accomplishments in polymer science. First, the ACS 2002 Award in Polymer Science, sponsored by ExxonMobil Chemical Co. I., is given annually to a world leader in polymer science research. In addition, Matyjaszewski joins a group of exceptional Pittsburgh chemists as recipient of the 2001 Pittsburgh Award for leadership in chemical affairs locally and in the larger professional community. The Pittsburgh Award will be presented at a dinner at the Hyatt Regency on October 10. These recipients will be honored at the 223rd ACS National Meeting in Orlando, FL. Vignettes about the award recipients will appear in successive issues of C&EN in early 2002.

Research in the Matyjaszewski group at Carnegie Mellon has included significant accomplishments in three major areas: the synthesis of novel inorganic and/or organometallic polymers, "living" carbocationic polymerization, and controlled polymers via radical processes. Matyjaszewski has developed new methods for preparing well-defined polymers in systems that were previously thought to be impossible to control (e.g. polysilanes, polyphosphazenes and free-radical polymerization). Through expertise in kinetics and mechanisms of controlled/living polymerization, he has developed syntheses of many polymers and copolymers with novel topologies, compositions and functionality. Novel catalytic systems--discovered, improved and optimized in his laboratory--have attracted industrial interest.

His most recent achievement is atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), which is currently perhaps the most robust system to control radical polymerization of important monomers such as styrenes, acrylates, methacrylates, acrylonitile, and acrylamides. ATRP has been successfully used to synthesize various block, graft, gradient, periodic and statistical copolymers. It has also been used to introduce various functional groups as chain ends and to construct macromolecules with novel topologies including star, comb and hyperbranched (or dendritic) structures. The impact of ATRP on polymer synthesis has been impressive. Matyjaszewski's first paper on ATRP (published in J. Am. Chem. Soc. in 1995) has been cited more than 500 times. Kris has published over two hundred papers on controlled radical polymerization.

Professor Krzysztof (Kris) Matyjaszewski received his Ph.D. from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976 and his Habilitation Degree in 1985 from Lodz Polytechnic. Kris joined the Department of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon in 1985, was awarded tenure in 1990, and promoted to Professor in 1993. Matyjaszewski was appointed J. C. Warner Professor of Natural Sciences in 1998, succeeding John A. Pople (1998 Nobel Laureate) in that position, and served as Head of the Department of Chemistry from 1994 to 1998.

Matyjaszewski has previously received awards from the Polish Academy of Sciences (1975), Polish Chemical Society (1980), Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989), ACS Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (1995), Elf Chair from French Academy of Sciences (1998), and the Humboldt Award for US Senior Scientists (1999). He was recently inducted as a Fellow of the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials, Science and Engineering (2001). He holds more than 20 US and international patents and works closely with industry through the ATRP Consortium (13 companies in 1996-2000) and the CRP Consortium (21 companies in 2001-2005).

September 2001