Nick Jackson launches new polymer research with 3M grant

Date

05/05/21

New funding will help Nick Jackson’s research group in the Center for Theoretical Chemistry begin screening and designing electron and ion transporting properties of polymers across the chemical genome.

In March, Jackson was awarded a 3M non-tenured faculty grant. Jackson said he is tremendously honored to receive the funding, which will help jumpstart this research.

“The outputs of this effort will be faster and more accurate models that integrate machine learning to predict the performance of charge transporting polymers found in a broad array of transistor, photovoltaic, battery, and LED applications,” he said. “This will seed broader efforts in my group moving forward that I am really excited about focused on data-driven design across soft materials chemistry.”

Administered by 3M’s Research and Development Community in partnership with 3Mgives, the award recognizes outstanding new faculty who are nominated by 3M researchers and selected based on their research, experience, and academic leadership.

Jackson joined the Illinois chemistry faculty in January 2021 as a member of the Center for Theoretical Chemistry. He’s also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Work in his research group integrates molecular quantum mechanics, computational statistical mechanics, and machine learning to characterize the multiscale structure and function of soft materials with useful optoelectronic, bioelectronic, and sustainability applications.

Previously, Jackson was an assistant scientist at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, where he developed a computational technique called electronic coarse graining (ECG). He used ideas from machine learning to develop his ECG technique, which substantially boosts the scale over which one can do electronic property calculations of condensed phase systems.

 

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