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John Badding awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement

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18 June 2015

John BaddingJohn Badding, professor of chemistry and physics at Penn State, has been selected to receive the 2015 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Physical Sciences. Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers selects candidates after reviewing nominations together with outside evaluations from peer institutions.

Badding is a materials and solid-state chemist whose research focuses on using high pressures to synthesize or characterize microscale and nanoscale materials. Because of their unusual properties and unprecedented chemical structures, these materials have applications in telecommunications, in photovoltaic solar technology, and in high-strength materials. Badding investigates the properties and potential applications of high-pressure supercritical fluids -- hybrids that share the properties of liquids and gases. His work with optical fibers synthesized at high pressure has the potential for technological impact by creating tunable infrared lasers with unprecedented power, fiber-based electronic devises, and solar fabrics. Recently, Badding and his research team developed a new form of carbon nanotube -- diamond-like threads that they suspect may be stronger than conventional carbon nanotubes.

Badding's previous honors include a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship from 1993 to 1998 and a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1993. He is the author or coauthor of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds several patents related to his research.

Badding earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry at Manhattan College in 1984 and a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1991, Badding was a postdoctoral fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1989 to 1991.  He became associate professor of chemistry at Penn State in 1997 and professor of chemistry in 2007. In addition, Badding became a professor of physics at Penn State in 2014.

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