Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, winner of the 2011 American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science, is recognized "for the development of controlled/living radical polymerizations, powerful synthetic techniques, enabling preparation of commercially produced polymers with precisely controlled structures".
Kris Matyjaszewski is currently J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences at Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph. D. Degree from Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976 working under Professor Stan Penczek on cationic ring opening polymerization. After staying as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor George B. Butler at the University of Florida and as a research associate/visiting professor at the University of Paris in the laboratory of Professor Sigwalt (carbocationic polymerization), Kris has joined Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. He has served as Chemistry Department Head from 1994 to 1998.
Matyjaszewski’s research has been focused on synthesis of polymers with precisely controlled architecture. His research has been recognized by a number of other major distinctions, including election to the National Academy of Engineering (2006), Polish Academy of Sciences (2005), as well as Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2009), Hermann F. Mark Senior Scholar Award (Polymer Division ACS, 2007), UK Macro Group Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Polymer Science (2005), Prize of Foundation of Polish Science (2004), Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science (PMSE ACS 2004), Polymer Chemistry Award (ACS 2002), Pittsburgh Award (ACS 2001), Carl S. Marvel - Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (Polymer Division, ACS 1995). He is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (2010), Polymer Division of the American Chemical Society (2010) and Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society (2001). He received honorary degrees from University of Ghent, Belgium, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lodz Polytechnic, Poland, University of Athens, Greece and Institut Polytechnique in Toulouse, France.
His research is very widely cited. According to the ISI Web of Knowledge (2010) he has an h-index of 104 (meaning that 104 of his publications have been cited at least 104 times). His total citation number exceeds 40,000, ranking him among top 10 most cited chemists worldwide since 2004. His first communication on ATRP has been cited over 2,300 times [JACS. 1995, 117, 5614] and his first review on ATRP over 2,700 times [Chem. Rev.. 2001, 101, 2921]. Over 10,000 papers have already been published on ATRP ( ~ 1000 papers each year). He has co-authored over 600 papers (average citation per paper 61), over 70 book chapters, 14 books, and has 38 US patents issued, 118 original and derived international patents and has over 20 pending US patent applications.
Matyjaszewski has made most fundamental and pioneering contributions to atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), the most robust and most commonly used controlled/living radical polymerization. He has recently developed new Cu complexes over 10,000 times more active than the original ATRP catalysts, that allow reduction of the amount of the catalyst to ppm level, and he adapted ATRP to environmentally friendly media (water). New catalytic/initiating systems are so effective that they are used in atom transfer cyclization and addition reactions to make functional low molar mass organic compounds. He invented new robust initiation systems that start with oxidatively stable Cu(II) species that are activated using benign reducing agents such as sugars, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or amines and allow starting ATRP in the presence of a limited amount of air. These procedures have been successfully applied to miniemulsion, microemulsion, a true emulsion process in aqueous media and inverse miniemulsion for water soluble monomers.
The other aspect of Matyjaszewski’s research has been preparation of new advanced materials. Control of chain microstructure and topology allow synthesis of new gradient copolymers, stars, functional telechelics, molecular brushes, hyperbranched polymers as well as gels, networks stimuli-responsive materials and a large variety of hybrids of well-defined organic polymers incorporating inorganic materials (nanocomposites, brushes) as well as natural products (bioconjugates). Matyjaszewski’s invention of ATRP opened many new areas of research in academia and in industry.
ATRP is among the most rapidly developing areas of polymer science and chemistry. The main reason for this explosive development is the simplicity of ATRP, and the unusual power to prepare tailor-made macromolecules for many special applications, making it attractive for industrial practice. ATRP has been successfully used to create better pigment dispersants for inkjet printing, cosmetics, chromatographic packings, adhesives, sealants for self-cleaning windows and other applications. Some other applications that are being evaluated include drug delivery, coatings for cardiovascular stents, scaffoldings for bone regeneration, biocidal surfaces, degradable plastics, and others in optoelectronic and automotive industry. The estimated market for such applications exceeds $20 billion/year in the US.
Matyjaszewski interacts effectively with industry to facilitate the transfer of technology to industry. He formed two industrial consortia, in which 44 companies from the U.S., Mexico, South Africa, Japan, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, UK and Switzerland have participated.
ATRP technology developed by Matyjaszewski was licensed to twelve international companies which started production of polymers based on ATRP in Japan, Europe and USA in 2004.
Matyjaszewski’s group at CMU has comprised over 100 graduate students and 90 postdoctoral fellows. Many of them continue to work on ATRP in academia and in industry in US and abroad. Matyjaszewski is co-editor of “Progress in Polymer Science” (2009 ISI Impact Factor 23.75), an editor of “Central European Journal of Chemistry”, and is on the editorial boards of 14 other scientific journals. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s “Comprehensive Polymer Science, 2nd Edition”. He is currently J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences at Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University but also adjunct Professor at both the University of Pittsburgh and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Lodz.