Dr. Zakya Kafafi Elected Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering

3/21/2005 - 4-05r
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Dr. Zakya Kafafi, a research chemist in NRL's Optical Sciences Division, has been elected a Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). She is recognized for her "outstanding contributions to the field of organic photonics and electronics, covering many aspects of chemistry, physics, and materials science." Dr. Kafafi will receive her award at the SPIE annual meeting this summer in San Diego, California, where SPIE will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

According to the International Society's bylaws, Fellows "are distinguished through achievements and outstanding contributions in the field of optics or electro-optics or in related scientific, technical, or engineering areas. Fellow membership shall be restricted to not more than five percent of the voting members of the society."

Dr. Kafafi is an internationally recognized authority in the field of organic photonics and electronics. She received her B.Sc. degree cum laude in chemistry from the University of Houston. She pursued her graduate studies at Rice University, where she obtained both her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry. From 1982 to 1986, Dr. Kafafi served as a visiting scientist in the Department of Chemistry, Rice University, and Houston, Texas; and served as president of the Spectroscopic Associates, Inc., Houston, Texas, from 1985 to 1989.

Dr. Kafafi came to NRL in 1986, as a senior research chemist and group leader in the Optical Sciences Division and achieved her present position as head of the Organic Optoelectronics Section in 2000. From 1994 to the present, Dr. Kafafi has served as Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry, at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.

Dr. Kafafi's present research is motivated by newly emerging technologies based on organic electronics and photonics. It spans a wide spectrum of disciplines, which include the chemistry and physics of self-assembled and organic nanostructures, organic light-emitting materials and devices, organic photovoltaics, organic thin-film transistors, in addition to energy and charge transfer processes in condensed phase. Matrix-isolation spectroscopic techniques combined with quantum chemical calculations are also used as a powerful tool to elucidate the chemical and electronic structures of electro-active materials. The development of highly luminescent and high-mobility charge transport materials and novel electronic, electro-optic, and optoelectronic devices at the macro- and nano-scales are part of her ongoing research. Special emphasis is also given to the study of the surface and interface properties of molecular and polymeric organic materials using techniques such as photoemission spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy.

Dr. Kafafi has published over 200 papers, with more than 2,140 citations since 1982, book chapters, and has several U.S. patents issued or pending. She is the editor of 20 books and proceedings volumes. Dr. Kafafi has organized and chaired many national and international conferences. Presently she serves on SPIE's 2005 symposia committee, as the chair of the SPIE track program on Organic Photonics & Electronics, as the chair of the SPIE conferences on Organic Light-Emitting Materials & Devices as well as Organic Photovoltaics, and as the vice-chair of the Optical Society of America (OSA) Thin Films Technical Group.

She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, OSA, the Society for Information Display, and the International Society for Optical Engineering.

Dr. Kafafi's numerous awards include the 1986 Research and Development Magazine IR 100 Award for her invention of a "cryolink," a highly conducting thermal link that maintains the cryogenic temperature of a multisurface deposition wheel that rotates and translates in a high vacuum; the 1995 NRL Commanding Officer's Award for achievements in the Field of Equal Employment Opportunity for the creation of a mentor program for scientists and engineers; and the 2003 Edison Patent Award for the development of conducting polymer electrodes for flexible organic photonic and electronic devices such as light-emitting organic displays and solar cells.

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