Born in 1927, Alan MacDiarmid received his M.Sc. from the University of New Zealand in 1950, and Ph.D.s from the University of Wisconsin in 1953, and Cambridge University in 1955. Also in 1955, Dr. MacDiarmid joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and was named the Blanchard Professor of Chemistry in 1988.
Dr. MacDiarmid was the co-discoverer of the field of conducting polymers, more commonly known as "synthetic metals." These "synthetic metals" are organic polymers which exhibit the electronic and magnetic properties of metals but retain the mechanical properties of organic polymers.
After receiving the Franklin Institute award, Dr. MacDiarmid was honored with the Chemistry of Materials Award from the American Chemical Society in 1999 and Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000.
Information as of 2000