UCSB Engineering

Alan Heeger



Alan Heeger


Physics Department
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: (805) 893-3184
fax: (805) 893-4755

Personal web site

Research Description

Professor and his colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara have done pioneering research in the area of semiconducting and metallic polymers. This class of novel materials has the electrical and optical properties of semiconductors and metals in combination with the processing advantages and mechanical properties of polymers. His current research interests lie in the area of transport in semiconducting polymers and light emission from semiconducting polymers (both photoluminescence and electroluminescence). His research group focuses on issues related to the fundamental electronic structure of this novel class of materials and carries out studies of light emitting diodes (LEDs), light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs), and lasers, all fabricated from semiconducting (conjugated) polymers. Experimental facilities provide the capability for a broad range of spectroscopic studies (including ultrafast, fs, time resolved spectroscopy), quantitative measurement of photoluminescence and electroluminescence quantum efficiencies, optical gain/loss of conjugated polymer/oligomer laser materials, and photoconductivity (steady state and time resolved with sub-ns time resolution).


Alan J. Heeger won the 2000 Nobel Prize in chemistry with two other scientists for the discovery and development of electrically conducting polymers, and he continues his laboratory research at UCSB. He believes that the key to future progress in the sciences is in interdisciplinary collaborations. Heeger is also chief scientist for UNIAX, a company he founded that was acquired last year by Dupont. It focuses on the uses of plastic electronics commercial products. In 1977 Heeger and his colleagues discovered conducting polymers, a novel class of materials with electrical and optical properties like metals and semiconductors coupled with the mechanical and processing advantages of polymers. Applications of work by Heeger and his associates include conducting polymer blends for electromagnetic shielding and for antistatic packaging, and semiconducting polymers for use in the emerging field of plastic electronic devices, which already include diodes.




  • Albert Einstein Honorary Chair Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2005
  • Doctor of Science (h.c.) Trinity College, Dublin, 2005
  • National Academy of Engineering (USA), 2002
  • Chancellor’s Medal, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2001
  • Doctor of Philosophy (h.c.) Bar-Ilan University, Israel, 2001
  • Doctor of Science (h.c) South China Institute of Science and Technology, 2001
  • Doctor of Science (h.c.) Japan Advanced Institute for Science and Technology, 2001
  • Korean Academy of Science (Foreign Member), 2001
  • National Academy of Sciences (USA), 2001
  • Presidential Chair, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2001
  • President’s Medal for Distinguished Achievement, University of Pennsylvania, 2001
  • Institute of Physics Fellow, UK, 2000
  • Nobel Prize, 2000
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2000
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (h.c.), University of Massachusetts at Lowell, 1999
  • Doctor of Science (h.c.), University of Nebraska, 1999
  • Doctor of Technology (h.c.), Abo Akademi University, Finland, 1996
  • Doctor of Technology (h.c.), University of Linköping, Sweden, 1996
  • Balzan Prize, "Science of New Materials", Bern, Switzerland, 1995
  • Doctor of Science (h.c.), Université d'Etat a Mons, Belgium, 1992

Selected Publications

  • Biosensors Based on Binding-Modulated Donor-Acceptor Distances, Science Direct, vol. 23, no. 4, 2005, 186-192, C. Fan, K.W. Plaxco, A.J. Heeger
  • Amplified Spontaneous Emission from Photopumped Films of a Conjugated Polymer, Phys. Rev. B, 58, 1998, 7035, M.D. McGehee, R. Gupta, S. Veenstra, E.K. Miller, M.A. Diaz-Garcia, and A.J. Heeger
  • Light Emission form Semiconducting Polymers: Light Emitting Diodes, Light-emitting Electrochemical Cells, Lasers, and White Light for the Future, Sol. State. Commun., 107,, 1998, 111, A.J. Heeger
  • Semiconducting Polymer Distributed Feedback Lasers, Appl. Phys. Lett., 72,, 1998, 1536, M.D. McGehee, M.A. Diaz-Garcia, F. Hide, E.K. Miller, B.J. Schwartz, D. Moses and A.J. Heeger
  • Temperature Independent Photoconductivity in Thin Films of Semiconducting Polymers: Photocarrier Sweep-out Prior to Deep Trapping, Phys. Rev. Lett., 80, 1998, 2685, D. Moses, J. Wang, G. Yu and A.J. Heeger
  • Time Resolved Spectroscopy of the Excited State in a Soluble Derivative of Poly(phenylene vinylene), Phys. Rev.B, 58, 1998, 10218, A. Dogariu, D. Vacar and A.J. Heeger
  • White light from InGaN/conjugated polymer hybrid light emitting diodes, Appl. Phys. Lett., 70, 1997, 2664, F. Hide, P. Kozodoy, S.P. DenBaars, and A.J. Heeger
  • Semiconducting polymers: A new class of solid-state laser materials, Science, 273, 1996, 1833, F. Hide, M.A. Díaz-Garcia, B.J. Schwartz, M.R. Andersson, Q. Pei, and A.J. Heeger
  • Metal-Insulator Transition in Doped Conducting Polymers, Handbook of Conducting Polymers, 27, Reghu Menon, C.O. Yoon, D. Moses, and A.J. Heeger