Prof. Michael Inkpen receives prestigious NSF CAREER Award


!!!do not change anything above this line!!!

About > News 2023 > Prof. Michael Inkpen receives prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Prof. Michael Inkpen receives prestigious NSF CAREER Award

By Em Tielman - June 08, 2023

The National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (NSF CAREER) Program has offered its prestigious award to early-career faculty since 1995. Each year, an average of 20% of eligible applicants in their first or second tenure track or tenure-track-equivalent academic position are selected to receive funding. As the award program is highly competitive, applicants must demonstrate professional excellence with respect to maintaining and expanding research and education in their position. It has been officially announced that Professor Michael Inkpen was selected for the award beginning in 2023.

Prof. Inkpen is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. He earned his Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from Imperial College London in 2013 and began his appointment in the USC's Department of Chemistry in January 2019. He specializes in Inorganic Chemistry and leads a research group focused on the design and study of single-molecule devices and self-assembled monolayers, using electrochemical and scanning probe microscope-based methods to address fundamental questions relevant to energy storage, catalysis, and electron transfer/transport.

The research Prof. Inkpen proposed for his CAREER award aims to probe fundamental structure-electronic property relationships in conducting materials built from molecular components, as well as uncover design principles for nanoscale single-molecule devices to be in used in computation and data storage. By analyzing conductance trends across model molecular-scale junctions and implementing distinct synthetic strategies to produce compositionally different bulk material samples of comparable quality, this work will build foundational knowledge relating to the movement of electrical charges through molecular systems across different length scales. The proposal also involves an important educational component: working to train underrepresented first- and second-year STEM undergraduates to help develop a new online academic search database. This in turn will provide a platform for new, web-based educational resources in the area of molecular nanoscience to students and researchers at USC and beyond.

"This award was made possible only through the hard work invested by all members of my group to date. They generated compelling preliminary data to demonstrate our lab's emergent capabilities and played a key role in formulating and honing these research ideas through our many shared discussions," Prof. Inkpen explains. "I'm excited to see what we can accomplish together now with support from the NSF CAREER program."

This NSF award will provide a stable source of funding for Prof. Inkpen's research over the next five years, helping him to further one of his long-term career goals of increasing the scientific community's understanding of single-step, coherent and multi-step, incoherent transport processes. At a later stage in his career, Prof. Inkpen also hopes to use this early-career research opportunity to inform his authorship of an introductory textbook on molecular electronics for chemists. The Department of Chemistry congratulates him for this well-deserved honor and will continue to share exciting news regarding his forthcoming research.

!!!do not change anything below this line!!!

  • Department of Chemistry
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 McClintock Avenue, SGM 418
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1062