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ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry: Jane Frommer

by Linda Wang
January 2, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 1

Jane Frommer
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Credit: Courtesy of Jane Frommer
Credit: Courtesy of Jane Frommer

Sponsor: ACS Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

Citation: For pioneering the use of STM/AFM in organic materials, for fundamental studies of the solution state of electronically conducting polymers, and for extensive community involvement.

Current position: senior technical staff member, IBM Research, Almaden

Education: B.S., chemistry, Tufts University; Ph.D., chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Frommer on her biggest research challenge: “I am motivated by questioning the obvious and probing the nonobvious. For example, in the early days of scanning tunneling microscopy, the instrument builders—engineers and physicists—focused on imaging metal crystal lattices. I proposed that the real potential of the method lay in organic molecules. The proposal was met with arguments that organics defied tunneling dynamics. But collaboration with the rare willing instrumentalist paid off with stunning images of organic monolayers clearly distinguishing between hydrocarbon, aromatic, and nitrile functionalities in substrate-driven assembly not seen before.”

What her colleagues say: “In addition to Jane’s contributions to the industrial research environment as evidenced by her dozens of patents, her technical and outreach accomplishments, and her services with ACS and NSF, her presence as a role model for women in science makes her a prime candidate for the ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry.”—Charles Wade, retired from IBM Research

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