Richard Champion

I am a third year graduate student in Chemical Engineering under the co-advisement of Professor John Berg in Chemical Engineering and Professor Guozhong Cao in Materials Science and Engineering. My research involves the fabrication of new cathode materials for use in Lithium-ion batteries. The goal is to address many of the issues currently associated with Li-ion batteries, including energy capacity, power output, and device performance stability.

I joined both Professors Berg and Cao's groups after defending my Master's thesis in September 2006 based on my work on polymer field-effect transistors under the advisement of Professor Samson A. Jenekhe in Chemical Engineering. My work focused on studying polymer systems towards achieving ambipolar FETs. Polymer FETs are of interest due to their ability of be inexpensively processed at ambient conditions on substrates that may be very large and/or flexible. Additionally, ambipolar FETs are appealing as they are the building blocks of complementary integrated circuits (ICs).

Before coming to the University of Washington for my graduate studies in Chemical Engineering, I worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) as a chemist for a total of a year under the advisement of Dr. R. Shane Addleman. While there, I worked on synthesizing ligands and mesoporous materials. The ligands were for deposition as self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) in the mesoporous substrates and analyzing their properties as active agents in sorbents and sensors of environmentally deleterious waste products and nerve agents.

I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry, with minors in Mathematics and Biology, from Eastern Oregon University in 2003. My undergraduate research advisor at EOU was Professor Ronald B. Kelley and together we worked on the isolation and characterization of natural products from plants. Natural products isolated included pyrrolizidine alkaloids and naphthoquinones, which are secondary metabolic toxins and active agents in herbal medicines used for wound healing, respectively.