Heeger, Alan Jay, 1936–, American physicist and chemist, b. Sioux City, Iowa, Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1961. Heeger has held faculty positions at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1962–82) and the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (1982–). He was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa for their work on electrically conductive polymers. These materials, which have the electrical properties of metals and the manufacturing advantages of polymers, have a variety of applications, including use as antistatic substances for photographic film, shields for computer screens, and "smart" windows to block sunlight.
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