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photo of Charles Black

Charles Black

Director of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)

photo of Charles Black

The CFN is one of the five user-oriented Nanoscale Science Research Centers created by the Department of Energy (DOE) to elucidate and exploit the unique properties of materials and processes at the nanoscale in addressing society's technical challenges.

Black joined Brookhaven Lab in 2006 as a scientist and became leader of the Electronic Nanomaterials Group the following year. Using his expertise in block copolymers, or linked polymer chains, he has developed nanostructures for a broad range of applications, including photovoltaic devices, superhydrophobic surfaces, and chemical sensors.

Prior to coming to the CFN, Black spent 10 years as a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he began his career after obtaining a PhD in physics from Harvard University in 1996. While working at IBM, he pioneered the use of polymer self-assembly for the fabrication of high-performance semiconductor devices for microelectronics.

His inventions, more than 40 of which have been patented during his careers at Brookhaven and IBM, include novel electronic devices and electrical contact designs, photovoltaic materials and structures, water-repellent and broadband antireflective nanostructured surfaces, and tools for the quantitative analysis of nanostructures.

His research contributions have been recognized through numerous awards, including Battelle's 2014 "Inventor of the Year" award for his CFN work on nanoscale self-assembly approaches. Last year, Innovate Long Island recognized Black's work on antireflective coatings with an Innovator of the Year Award in Science and Technology. Previously, he has received an IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, an IndustryWeek Technology of the Year Award, and a World Technology Award for Information Technology Hardware.

Black has also received a DOE Outstanding Mentor Award for his efforts to mentor young scientists.

Black is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.