New Jersey researcher receives award for enhancing fiber optic performance

May 21, 2001

Chemist Edwin A. Chandross, Ph.D., of Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., will be honored June 1 by the world's largest scientific society for enhancing the performance of fiber optics, the backbone of the telecommunications industry. He will receive one of two 2001 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society's Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

"Ed Chandross' insight and creativity have had an enormous impact on optical fiber manufacturing processes, the foundation for today's telecommunications industry," said Elsa Reichmanis, Ph.D., director of polymer and organic materials research at Lucent.

Chandross has developed a process to remove impurities in materials used to make optical fibers, minimizing the loss of data signals during long-distance transmission. Lucent has used this process for more than 20 years to make millions of kilometers of optical fiber used all over the world.

"He is without a doubt one of the premier chemists who has dedicated his career to the development and implementation of chemical technologies for the communications industry," Reichmanis remarked on Chandross' 41-year career at Lucent Technologies.

Chandross' other commercial successes include the development of some of the chemistry as well as an essential polymer component of the sol-gel reaction, a process used to tailor glass structures at the molecular level to create new, better manufacturing processes with promising commercial applications in optics.

He discovered one of the underlying processes for organic light emitting diodes (OLED), which operate by converting electrical energy to light. This technology, now used in flat panel displays, could lead to wearable, head-mounted computers and even reality games. Of particular interest to concertgoers and children across the globe, Chandross also discovered the novel chemiluminescent system that is the basis of the ubiquitous lightstick.

The American Chemical Society's Industrial Innovation Awards recognize individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance our quality of life.
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Edwin A. Chandross, Ph.D., is director of organic materials research at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1957 and 1960. He resides in Berkeley Heights, N.J.

American Chemical Society

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