Geoffrey Alan Ozin, born 23rd August 1943 in London England , received a B.Sc. in chemistry from Kings College University of London in 1965 and his D. Phil. degree in inorganic chemistry from Oriel College Oxford University in 1967. He was ICI Fellow at the University of Southampton from 1967-69 before joining the University of Toronto in 1969. He achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1977, University Professor in 2001, the highest honour in the University of Toronto and was named Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry in 2001, a national award for his contributions to science.

To gain perspective of the nature and scope of Professor Ozin's research in the field of materials chemistry and nanochemistry, it is important to recognize the evolution of materials science with respect to the creation of new technologies. In the latter half of the 20 th century, materials science/engineering enabled innovations in electronics, communications, construction, transportation, energy, biomedicine, and space research. Here for instance, the synthesis of solid-state materials led both to a new brand of physics and electronic devices. However, to satisfy 21 st century demand for new materials in fields like nanotechnology, information technology and biotechnology, solid-state synthesis approaches to preparing materials are gradually being supplanted by molecular methodologies, particularly the self-assembly of materials with structures that can approach the complexity of those observed in nature. In this context, Professor Ozin's most recent research in materials self-assembly (MSA) has helped fuse “top-down” solid-state physics ways of making structures and “bottom-up” molecular-chemistry methods of making materials . His work integrates nanochemistry, self-assembly and chemical-patterning strategies from nm to micrometer length scales to make new materials having structures, properties and functions suited to a range of nascent technologies.

Professor Ozin's work has been aimed at taking some of the first steps in the emerging field of materials self-assembly over “all” scales . Here nm to micrometer scale building blocks have been shown to organize spontaneously into unprecedented structures, which can serve as tailored functional materials. Significant recent breakthroughs from his group are summarized in point form below:

•  New materials with crystalline and glassy porosity , diverse compositions and hierarchical structures that span multiple length scales - mesoporous and macroporous forms of silica, binary and ternary metal-oxides, metal-phosphates and metal-sulfides, fashioned for example as fibers, films, spheres, m m scale patterns, opals and inverse opals with perceived utility in batteries, fuel and solar cells, sensors and chromatography stationary phases.

•  New nanocomposites, bottom-up integration of organic and inorganic molecular precursors to create hybrids superior to components – breakthrough periodic mesoporous organosilicas, PMOs, a new class of materials with a variety of bridging organic groups incorporated within the silica framework having perceived utility diverse as chiral stationary phase and microelectronic packaging.

•  Spin-on silicon nanocluster-mesoporous silica film displaying room temperature nanosecond lifetime photoluminescence – perceived as a soft chemistry route to spin-on silicon-silica light emitting diodes with potential applications in silicon microphotonics.

•  Morphosynthesis of inorganic materials with curved shapes rather than conventional faceted crystal habits –the growth and form of curved mesostructures may mimic the way some biominerals form in nature – morphosynthesis may provide an insight into morphogenesis.

•  3-D silicon colloidal photonic crystal with a full photonic band gap at optical telecommunications wavelengths – optical analogue of silicon semiconductor with perceived utility in all-optical chips.

•  Planarized microphotonic crystal chip - simple, quick and inexpensive methods potentially useful for making miniaturized on-chip optical devices and highly compact optical circuits – a technology that may be integrated into pre-existing microfabrication facilities.

Professor Ozin's approach to materials discovery utilizes modular synthesis of hierarchical materials, according to which molecular-scale building blocks self-organize into complex structures that span the entire hierarchy of length scales. Through a series of purposeful synthesis strategies, truly revolutionary advances in materials science and technology can result from Professor Ozin's approach to materials discovery.

Professor Ozin's research over the past 35 years has helped change the prevailing view in a number of areas of materials chemistry:

•  Metal vapor and metal cluster chemistry ( chemistry from the atom-up )

•  Advanced zeolite materials science ( chemistry of materials filled with holes )

•  Nanochemistry ( chemistry at the nanometer scale )

•  Biomimetic inorganic chemistry ( chemistry learning from nature )

•  Inorganic-organic hybrid materials ( chemistry strategies to nanocomposites )

•  Host-guest inclusion chemistry ( chemistry approaches to nanomaterials )

•  Photonic crystal materials chemistry ( chemistry control of the flow of light ).

These areas are amongst the most rapidly expanding and highly competitive fields of contemporary materials research.

The latest phase of Professor Ozin's s research is showing the way to a world of materials that had not previously existed. This work involves a “ panoscopic or global ” way of thinking about solid state materials and introduces the notions of complexity and hierarchy into materials chemistry, which were previously deemed appropriate only for the incredible mineral-based materials made by living organisms. In essence, he has shown that the self-assembly of inorganic, organic and polymeric building-blocks that is directed by molecules, aggregations of molecules and microphase separated block copolymers or templated by colloidal crystals can provide an effective pathway to new materials whose structure at “ all ” levels of construction, from the nanoscale to the overall macroscopic form, determine materials properties, desired function and practical utility. The broadly tunable length scales and dimensionalities, platonic and curved morphologies, close-packed and open-framework structures, elemental compositions and physicochemical properties of solid state materials to emerge from his work are of interest in areas as diverse as catalysis and electrocatalysis, membrane science and chemical sensing, drug delivery and bone implants. More high technology utility for the materials may be found in electronics and optics, photonics and information storage.

Forty years after Richard Feynman's prescient lecture “ plenty of room at the bottom ”, which heralded the birth of nanoscale science Professor Ozin has shown there is also “ plenty of room at the top ” in the world of “ large nanomaterials ”. In essence, he has shown that self-assembly of inorganic and organic building-blocks directed by molecules and aggregations of molecules can provide an effective pathway to new materials whose structure at “ all ” levels of construction, from the nanoscale to the overall macroscopic form, determine materials properties and potential functions.

Professor Ozin's contributions have been recognized in various ways. His newest and most prestigious career awards include the Canadian Society of Chemistry E.W.R. Steacie Award in Chemistry 2002, the Royal Society of Chemistry Great Britain Award in Materials Chemistry 2002, the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal 2001 and a Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry 2001, four of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a scientist for contributions to chemistry. Notably, he was also just been named a University Professor, the premier honour given by the University of Toronto to its faculty and held by a mere handful of the professoriate.

Other significant national and international awards bestowed upon Professor Ozin include the Pure and Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award from the Canadian Society of Chemistry, the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry from the Royal Society of Canada, the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry from the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Coblentz Memorial Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy from the American Spectroscopy Society, and the Meldola Medal in Physical-Inorganic Chemistry from the Royal Institute of Chemistry Great Britain. He is the recipient of NSERC Strategic New Ideas and New Directions awards for innovation and invention in the fields of nanoscience and nanophotonics and he was a 2001 World Technology Network Award Finalist for innovation in materials. Especially noteworthy are the accomplishments of two of his graduate students, Hong Yang and Mark MacLachlan, who received the 1998 and 1999 NSERC Doctoral Prizes that recognize the top Ph.D. thesis research in Canadian Natural Sciences.

Professor Ozin was awarded a Canada Council Isaac Walton Killam Research Fellowship and the Royal Society of Canada inducted him as a Fellow. He was one of the youngest scientists to be named a Sherman-Fairchild Fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He is a rare U of T Professor to have received three U of T Connaught Awards, which are targeted to transformative research by top rank scientists. Xerox Research Center Canada directed funding to his materials group to support their program in Smart Matter. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, CIAR, an elite Canadian think-tank, inducted him as Associate of their new nanoelectronics group and Photonic Research Ontario elected him Project Leader of photonic crystal materials. The Royal Institution of Great Britain and University College London England recently awarded him Honorary Professorial Fellow status.

Professor Ozin gives many plenary and invited lectures at international conferences, universities and industries and currently serves or has served on the advisory editorial board of some of the top journals in materials chemistry. He has published around 500 articles in top rank peer reviewed journals and has about 15 US patents, many of which have been filed in numerous countries. He has also contributed substantially to Canadian science through the training of a large body of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students, and through his long-standing research collaborations with industry. His close ties with industry over the years, has resulted in numerous inventions and technology transfer. Around twenty-five of his former co-workers now hold Professorial positions in universities in Canada and around the globe, one is Dean of Science at a top rank US university, three are Head's of chemistry departments at top rank universities in Canada and Switzerland. In addition a large number of his co-workers have key scientific positions in government and industrial laboratories. One of his students founded a NASDAQ listed photonics company in Quebec.

The significance of Professor Ozin's materials chemistry research is reflected in the latest ISI surveys of his group's work as indicated by the following accomplishments. ISI HIGHLY CITED RESEARCHER - Professor Ozin is in the Materials Science category . He is the only one in chemistry at the UOT listed and one of only two chemists in Canada. Twenty of his publications, five in the journal Nature , are among the 200 most cited in Materials Science. Overall his papers are in the top 0.5% of chemistry with seventeen in Science and Nature. Graphical illustrations from eighteen of his papers have been used as front covers of top rank scientific journals and commentaries about his research appear frequently in the scientific news media. His prescient 1992 Nanochemistry – Synthesis in Diminishing Dimensions paper is the most cited in the journal Advanced Materials in the past fifteen years. ISI ESSENTIAL SCIENCE INDICATORS: TOP 25 PAPERS 1992-2002 - In the Nanotechnology category his paper 1992 Nanochemistry: Synthesis in Diminishing Dimensions, Advanced Materials is listed #13. In the Photonics category, his 2000 paper Self-Assembly of a Silicon Photonic Bandgap Material with a Complete Three-Dimensional Gap at 1.5 Microns, Nature is listed #15. ISI NEW HOT PAPERS - In this category a synopsis of his 2002 paper, Opal Circuits of Light – Planarized Microphotonic Crystal Chips, Advanced. Functional Mat erials has been published in October 2003.

 

 

 


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