ACS Henry H. Storch Award in Energy Chemistry

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Prof. Sarah Tolbert

Professor Sarah Tolbert has been awarded the Henry H Storch Award in Energy Chemistry by the Energy and Fuels Division of the American Chemical Society.  

The prestigious award recognizes distinguished contributions to fundamental or engineering energy-related research and development, as well as education, that addresses the world’s energy and chemical challenges. 

Professor Sarah Tolbert received the award for her outstanding accomplishments to the development of new energy materials, particularly focusing on nanostructured and nanoporous materials for energy storage and harvesting. Her work in energy storage includes the development of nanoporous electrodes to facilitate fast-charging batteries and other devices, as well as the use of nanostructured materials to increase the stability of high-capacity electrodes. She also has major efforts in using self-assembly to optimize the properties of semiconducting polymers for applications in energy harvesting, and in using low thermal conductivity porous materials to increase building efficiency. 

The ACS 2023 National Award winners will be honored at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in conjunction with the ACS Spring 2023 meeting in Indianapolis. 

Tolbert holds faculty appointments in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and in the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She is the faculty education director for the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), and directs CNSI’s extensive nanoscience education program. Tolbert is also the director of the UCLA-led Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) on Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables (SCALAR), which seeks to use chemistry and materials research to increase battery capacity, stability and safety. 

Tolbert’s current research interests include self-organized nanoscale materials for electronic, magnetic, optical, and structural applications. Her work on nanomaterials for energy includes electrochemical energy storage (both batteries and supercapacitors), semiconducting polymers with application in thermoelectrics and photovoltaics, and the use of nanoporous materials to reduce thermal conductivity. She also uses solution-phase self-assembly for the development of new strain-engineered magnetic and multiferroic materials. Finally, she has a major effort in the development of new ultrahard materials that can be readily synthesized under ambient pressure conditions.  

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,