Richard D. McCullough Wins 2006 Carnegie Science Center Start-up Entrepreneur Award-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Richard D. McCullough Wins 2006 Carnegie Science Center Start-up Entrepreneur Award

Richard D. McCullough, dean of the Mellon College of Science and professor of chemistry, is the 2006 recipient of the Carnegie Science Center (CSC) Award for Excellence as Start-up Entrepreneur. According to the Carnegie Science Center, the Start-up Entrepreneur award, presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, recognizes leadership in developing a promising innovation in an early-stage company.

In the early 1990s, McCullough discovered regioregular polythiophenes (RRPs), plastics that conduct — rather than impede — electricity. RRPs are excellent conductors of electricity because of their uniform composition and ability to neatly align into nanowires. Since their discovery, McCullough has made a series of major advances, both in finding inexpensive methods to produce RRPs and in creating chemistries that enable their use in versatile settings.

Three years ago, McCullough’s RRPs formed the basis of a start-up company, Plextronics, Inc., which he co-founded and for which he has received the CSC award. The company focuses on research and production of RRPs, or Plexcore™. This material could be integrated into the latest miniaturized electronic devices, flexible flat panel displays and coatings that could solve costly problems like electrostatic discharge and corrosion.

According to the Carnegie Science Center, “Plextronics is quickly becoming a leader in the design of leading edge printed electronics such as photovoltaics, organic light emitting diodes, radio frequency identification tags, and touch panels.”

McCullough and his fellow awardees will be honored at a celebration at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Music Hall, on May 3.

By: Amy Pavlak