A professor at UCSB recently received a research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for her groundbreaking research involving organic semiconductor materials.

Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB, was awarded the Sloan Fellowship for her research in chemistry and nanotechnology. The fellowship – which provides a two-year, $50,000 grant for research purposes such as equipment or training – is awarded to 118 researchers annually.

The Sloan Foundation, which was established by philanthropist Alfred P. Sloan in 1934, is a nonprofit organization that has provided grants for researchers in areas such as physics, chemistry, molecular biology, computer science, economics and mathematics since 1955.

According to the foundation’s Web site, the 118 grant winners were chosen from a group of about 600 nominees. To be eligible, candidates are required to hold Ph.D.s in eligible scientific areas and be members of a regular faculty at a college or university within the U.S. or Canada.

Nguyen’s research involves the use of organic molecules to develop thin films and semiconductors that will help further the development of electronics and sensor technology. Her lab is also researching organic solar cells.

“Our goal is to establish how molecular structure and processing methods can be rationally implemented in applications such as transistors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes,” Nguyen said in a press release. “From an overall perspective, these studies tackle fundamental, critical problems associated with emerging organic semiconductor-based technologies that generate energy and that contribute to energy conservation.”

Nguyen earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. at UCLA and was a research associate in Columbia University’s Dept. of Chemistry and Nanocenter. She also worked at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center before she joined the ranks of the UCSB faculty in 2004. Since then, she has won a series of awards including a 2007-08 Harold J. Plous Award and a 2008 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.