ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials


The ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials is given to recognize and encourage creative work in the chemistry of materials.


The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $2,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed.


The award is sponsored by DuPont.

Eligibility and Nominations

The award will be granted regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, and educational background.  For detailed instructions on how to nominate, please the ACS award page for details.

2018 Award Winner: Dr. Elsa Reichmanis

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Elsa Reichmanis is Professor and Pete Silas Chair in Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and a Brook Byers Professor of Sustainability at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, she was Bell Labs Fellow and Director of the Materials Research Department at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent. She received her Ph. D. and BS degrees in chemistry from Syracuse University. In 1984, she was promoted to Supervisor of the Radiation Sensitive Materials and Application Group, followed by promotion to Head of the Polymer and Organic Materials Research Department in 1994. Her research interests include the chemistry, properties and application of materials technologies for photonic and electronic applications, with particular focus on polymeric and nanostructured materials for advanced technologies.

Elsa Reichmanis is internationally recognized in the design and development of polymer/organic materials and processes for advanced electronics and photonics. Her research, at the interface of materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, optics and electronics, spans from fundamental concept to technology development. Her research interests include the chemistry, properties and applications of materials for electronics and photonics; particularly, polymeric and nanostructured materials and processes. She has had impact on the field of microlithography, which is central to the manufacturing of electronic devices. Her work has contributed to the development of a molecular level understanding of how chemical structure affects materials function leading to new families of lithographic materials and processes that may enable advanced VLSI manufacturing. Notably, she was responsible for the design of new imaging chemistries for 193 nm lithography that were the first, readily accessible, and manufacturable materials for this technology. In a related area she was involved in the design and characterization of closed-pore nanoporous low-dielectric constant (k > 1.4) materials exhibiting a high degree of mechanical and environmental stability. She is currently exploring active, polymer, and hybrid organic/inorganic materials chemistries and processes for plastic electronics, photovoltaics and photonic technologies.

Elsa Reichmanis was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995 and has participated in several National Research Council (NRC) activities. She has served as a member of the NSF Math and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee, was co-chair of the NRC Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, and was a member of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She has also served as an elected member of the Bureau of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). She has been active in the American Chemical Society throughout her career, having served as 2003 President of the Society. In other technical activities, she served as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

Elsa Reichmanis is the recipient of several awards, including named university lectureships. She was presented with the 1993 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award and in 1995, was named Bell Laboratories Fellow. She is the 1996 recipient of the ASM Engineering Materials Achievement Award, she was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998, and was awarded the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science in 1999. In 2001, she was the recipient of the Society of Chemical Industry’s Perkin Medal and the Arents Medal from Syracuse University. In 2002, she was elected Fellow of the Polymer Materials Division of the American Chemical Society and in 2003 she was the recipient of the first Braude Award from the ACS Maryland local section. In 2004 she was elected as a Foreign Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, in 2005 was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and was named ACS Fellow in 2009. She is also a member of the Materials Research Society. She is an Executive Editor for the journal, Chemistry of Materials.