Prof. Malika Jeffries-El - Iowa State

September 16, 2013 - 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Burson 115

Seminar Series

Fall 2013


Prof. Malika Jeffries-El
Iowa State University

Will be Presenting

“Designing Materials for Advanced Applications”



Since their discovery over 30 years ago conjugated polymers have been of tremendous scientific and technological interest. Conjugated polymers posses many exceptional electronic, optical and thermal properties and thus are well suited for organic semiconducting applications, such as solar cells and light emitting diodes. Unfortunately, there are several issues that have to be addressed before real-life commercialized products based on these materials can be developed. Our group focuses on the design and synthesis of new types of conjugated polymers based on heterocyclic building blocks such as benzobisazoles and benzodifurans. Polybenzobisazoles posses many exceptional electronic, optical and thermal properties and thus are ideally suited for diverse organic semiconducting applications, yet these materials have found limited utility due their lack of solubility in organic solvents. However, the harsh conditions required for the synthesis of benzobisazoles limits their utility. Recently our group has developed a mild approach for the synthesis of benzobisoxazoles resulting in several building blocks suitable for designing new polymers. We have also pioneered the synthesis of benzodifuran and are developing materials based on this novel electron rich building block.


Malika Jeffries-EL is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University. She received BA degrees in Chemistry and Africana Studies and Wellesley College in 1996 and Master’s and Ph.D degrees in chemistry from The George Washington University in 1999 and 2002 respectively. After spending one year at Smith College as a Mendenhall Fellow she worked as a post-doctoral fellowship under the direction of Professor Richard D. McCullough at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2005 she joined the faculty in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2012. Her research focuses on the development of organic semiconductors–materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors. Dr. Jeffries-EL has won numerous awards including the 3M untenured faculty award, the Emerald Honors for most promising minority scientist, the Lloyd Ferguson Award from the National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers, NSF CAREER award (2009) and the ACS- Women Chemist Committee Rising Star award (2012). She is also a dedicated volunteer and has served in several activities within the American Chemical Society including the editorial advisory board for Chemical and Engineering News. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York.


(Host: Michael Walter)

Monday, September 16, 2013 @ 4:00pm Rm. 115 Burson
Refreshments served @ 3:45