Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

About the Department


Rick McCullough, MCS Dean and Professor of Chemistry, is the 2002 recipient of the ACS Akron Section Award

photo of Dean Richard D. McCulloughRichard D. McCullough, Dean of the Mellon College of Science and Professor of Chemistry, is the 2002 recipient of the ACS Akron Section Award. The award is given to a scientist or engineer under 45 years of age working in any branch of chemistry and residing within a 300 mile radius of Akron, who "demonstrates exceptional promise for making significant contributions to chemical science." As recipient of the award, he is invited to deliver two lectures and visit with scientists in the Akron community. Previous winners of this award include Malcolm Chisholm, Barbara Garrison, Richard T. Oakley and, William R. Roush.

McCullough has devised and implemented a synthesis of regioregular polythiophenes that is both efficient and well-suited to the preparation of a wide range of substituted polythiophenes and their copolymers. The "McCullough synthesis" has been recognized and utilized world-wide to achieve the regioregularity that is advantageous for the self-assembly process and that greatly enhances the conductivity of these materials. McCullough's group has used this synthetic method to prepare a wide range of polythiophenes designed to self-assemble into supramolecular structures of interest in electronic applications including integrated circuits, nanowires, flat-screen displays, and electronic paper.

Rick McCullough joined the Chemistry faculty at Carnegie Mellon in 1990. He became Professor in 1998, served as Department Head from 1998–2001, and was appointed Dean in 2001. He recently founded Polytronics, a company that will develop and distribute polymer technologies for electronic applications.

August 2002

February 2003: The company is now called Plextronics, Inc.