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Antonio Facchetti, Northwestern University, Flexterra Inc.

Newly Elected Member of the MRS Board of Directors

Antonio FacchettiAntonio Facchetti is a co-founder and currently the Chief Technology Officer of Flexterra Corporation, a research professor at Northwestern University and a guest professor at Linkoping University. Facchetti obtained his Laurea degree in chemistry cum laude and a PhD degree in chemical sciences from the University of Milan. He co-founded Polyera Corporation and supported the funding of Raynergy Teck. He has been a guest professor at Tianjin University and South University of Science and Technology of China, a distinguished adjunct professor at King Abdulaziz University, and a visiting professor at the University of Palermo, Ningbo Institute of Material Technology & Engineering and the State University of Milan.

Facchetti received the 2009 Italian Chemical Society Research Prize, and Polyera has earned the 2010 IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe Organic Materials Development Award and the 2011 FLEXI Award for research and development Flextech Alliance. Facchetti was selected as a Kavli Fellow in 2010, and has also been named Fellow by the American Association for the Advanced of Science (AAAS) in 2012, Materials Research Society in 2013, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2015, both the ACS Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors in 2016, and the European Academy of Sciences in 2021.

In 2010 he was selected among the "Top 100 Materials Scientists of the Past Decade (2000-2010)" by Thomson Reuters and has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Highly Cited Scientist for the past 14 years. Facchetti received the ACS Award for Creative Invention in 2016 and in 2017 he was awarded the Giulio Natta Gold Medal from the Italian Chemical Society for his work on polymeric materials.

Facchetti has published more than 560 research articles, 14 book chapters and edited one book. He is currently an  associate editor of the Journal of Materials Chemistry C and Materials Advances. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Advanced Materials, Materials Horizons, and Materials Today Sustainability. He holds more than 120 US patents. Facchetti has been active in MRS and E-MRS, having co-organized more than 10 symposia for the general meetings.

Facchetti’s research interests include the synthesis of new opto-electronic, dielectric/passive and ionic-electronic organic and metal oxide materials for application in transistor, photovoltaic, battery and (bio)sensor devices. Furthermore, with collaborators, he explores structure-property-device performance relationships of different classes of semiconductors as well as he develops new types of semiconductor device architectures for electronic, ionic-electronic and photonic applications.


Candidate's Statement

This year marked the milestone of the 50th anniversary of the Materials Research Society foundation. Throughout the years, the MRS has remained true to the founding vision and values and have broadened activities to capture contemporary needs and interests of members. Today, MRS has become an essential vehicle for the materials community, as well as other disciplines, to disseminate and learn about new discoveries, embrace new collaborations, and support the training of a new generation of materials scientists. I have been involved with MRS for the past 27 years and have witnessed consistent, positive progress in the MRS offering portfolio. As we embrace new challenges, I believe that we must also establish new goals for how we disseminate materials concepts, embrace diversity, and engage more effectively with the societies of other disciplines.

The strength and visibility of MRS has certainly benefitted from the quality of our biannual society meetings, which have set the standard for interdisciplinary materials research. I believe that for the MRS to remain successful we must continue to promote them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and the near aftermath, virtual meetings have been instrumental in maintaining communication with other members, particularly those located in Asia. Now we need to ask ourselves if virtual meetings should continue as a resource tool and how best to use them to complement regular on-site attendance. Furthermore, I am among several members questioning where more specialized meetings could be organized during the year, preferably involving other societies, to strengthen specific topics of the main meetings.

MRS is at the forefront in outreach activities, promoting DEI principles and fostering global interactions with regional materials organizations. These efforts must continue. From the early days of engaging with the broader public via television to more recent MRS website activities, the society should maximize use of social media to promote materials concepts to younger scientists. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are rooted values in MRS. Recent programs such as the newly launched the Inclusive Graduate Education Network alliance could add activities involving the undergraduate communities in the U.S., passionate for the subject but lacking resources for developing programs in this direction. We must also continue to make progress in creating programs and activities with regional materials organizations of developing countries, particularly in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. This road will be paved by the upcoming first workshop jointly organized by MRS with the African Materials Research Society. Finally, MRS has successfully attracted members from academia, national labs, and industry - particularly through the biannual meetings linking them together. However, to maximize the success rate in materials evolution, I believe that MRS should create the conditions so that real needs of industry are conveyed to academic researchers and entrepreneurs. 

In conclusion, the 50th anniversary of MRS serves as an important occasion to reflect on our achievements and set a course for the future, particularly in challenging fields of healthcare, semiconductor, energy, and sustainability. By doing so we can propel MRS into an even more impactful future.