University of Florida, Gainesville
Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering - University of Florida Polymer Science Program

Featured Alumni Dr. Gregory Sotzing

Gregory Sotzing received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1997 and is presently a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Program at the Institute of Materials Science. Greg obtained his Bachelors of Science degree at Mary Washington College, now named Mary Washington University, in Fredericksburg Virginia where he received one of the ACS POLYED awards for his research on novel fluorinated polyimides under the advisement of Professor Roy F. Gratz. At the University of Florida, Greg carried out his graduate work with Professor John Reynolds on the polymerization of oligomers containing 3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene as a route to energy gap control of conjugated polymers and use of conjugated polymers in electrochromic devices. Greg moved on from U.F. for a joint post-doc with Professor Robert Grubbs and Professor Nathan Lewis at the California Institute of Technology where he was involved in research on the use of conductive polymers and composites as detectors for an electronic nose with application toward explosives and disease detection.

In 1999, Greg established his research program at the University of Connecticut on optically transparent conductive polymers involving the use of thieno[3,4-b]thiophene. Shortly after, this work was funded by Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and eventually commercialized primarily for use as a hole injection layer for light emitting diodes. In 2003, he was awarded an NSF CAREER for work involving low energy gap conjugated polymers and a means to convert processable precursor polymers in the solid state into conductive polymers. Activities outside the University have included, with help from many dear friends, the establishment of a Science and Technology high school, the Putnam Science Academy (PSA) and the first Science Olympiads in the state of Connecticut which are now in their second year running. For the past couple years, Greg has been trying to convince the state legislature that downtown Hartford is in dire need of a Science and Technology Charter school that would give, considering the demographics, underprivileged minorities a choice in education within the public school system.

Research efforts continue to concentrate on how to make conductive polymers more processable and to have their preparation in as few steps as possible while maintaining control of electrical and optical properties. From these efforts, Greg’s research group has been able to electrospin polymer with electrochromic function. Greg anticipates that this could be used in the future for color changing fabric/wearable fabric displays. Recently, this research was carried by NewScientist, National Geographic, Discovery/TLC, NPR and public television. Greg has had the opportunity to collaborate around the globe and, recently, received a US-Europe collaborative NSF grant with Toribio F. Otero working with rapid generation of conductive polymer nanostructures and study of ion diffusion within these structures during redox switching. With Toribio being a world expert in artificial muscles, the hope is to have conductive polymer fiber muscles that will both flex and change color upon charge injection/removal. Greg has had research contracts with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Kraft Foods, Philip Morris USA, Triton Systems, Inc. (Phase II SBIRs with ONR and Army), Sekisui Integrated Research, National Science Foundation, ACS, and the National Institutes of Health.

You can view his website at:

Greg and his wife, Fatma Selampinar, live in Storrs, Connecticut with their son Michael and newly born daughter Aisha (Feb. 21, 2007). Greg and Michael enjoy biking, canoeing, and fishing; however, Michael is bored to tears listening to his father talk about how canoeing in Connecticut is nothing compared to Florida!

Content Updated: 2009


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