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David Allara Named Distinguished Professor

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30 January 2012

David L. Allara, a professor of chemistry and materials science at Penn State, has been named Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. The honor, which recognizes exceptional teaching, research creativity, and service to the University community, is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the Dean.

The major objective of Allara's research program is the development of a fundamental understanding of the chemical structures and processes that occur at the interfaces of advanced structures involving different types of materials, ranging from semiconductors to polymers. His work in the use of molecules for forming highly organized, functional thin-film coatings has spawned the development of new technologies in areas ranging from microelectronics to biomedicine.

Allara's previous honors include being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom in 2009. In 2003, he received an honorary doctoral degree from Linköping University in Sweden and, in that same year, the American Chemical Society honored Allara with the Adamson Award for Distinguished Achievements in Surface Chemistry. He received an American Chemical Society Analytical Division Spectrochemical Analysis Award in 1998. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society for Science and Technology and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1984, he was honored by Bell Laboratories with a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff award for career achievement.

Allara has published numerous, highly cited scientific papers in journals such as Physical Review Letters, the Journal of The American Chemical Society, Nature, Science, Nanotechnology, Biointerphases, and the Journal of Physical Chemistry. He has presented invited lectures at conferences throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. He has served on the editorial and advisory boards of various journals and textbook series and on the scientific advisory boards of several technology companies. He was a co-founder and a director of Molecular Electronics Incorporated and he also co-founded the companies Nanostar, NanoMolecular Sensors, and Nanomolecular Devices. He has been granted four United States patents.

Allara earned bachelor's and doctoral degrees in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1959 and at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1964. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University in England in 1965. After a distinguished career at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, he joined the faculty at Penn State in 1987, where he currently is involved in wide-ranging research areas involving molecular electronics, biomaterials, energy conversion, and nanoscale science.

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