Philippine Science Letters
vol. 3 | no. 2 | 2010
published online August 5, 2010


FEATURE


Rigoberto C. Advincula:
Multi-awarded and Distinguished Filipino
Scientist Making an Impact in Polymers
and Nanomaterials


by Roderick Borong Pernites

PhD student of Prof. R. Advincula at the University of Houston
Texas, USA.


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Professor Rigoberto C. Advincula, PhD, also known as "Gobet" by his many peers and friends, is recognized internationally for his numerous and significant contributions in the field of polymers, materials, and nanotechnology. To name a few, he has contributed to the significant growth and body of research on "polymer brushes", electropolymerizable conjugated polymer networks, dendrimer macromolecules, biosurfaces, and hybrid nanomaterials. In 2005, he invented a novel approach for combining Electrochemistry (EC), Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy (SPS) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) techniques in a single set-up, which provides for simultaneous and in situ optical, electrochemical, and surface morphological information of electrochemically deposited ultrathin polymer films. This key enabling breakthrough which is one of a kind in the world was published in the Review of Scientific Instruments of the American Institute of Physics [1]. A year later, he developed a sensor device for the pico-molar and real time detection of a nerve agent using an electrochemically crosslinked ultrathin dendrimer film. Briefly, a nerve agent, which includes highly toxic organophosphate compounds, is classified as a weapon of mass destruction and has been used in chemical warfare and terrorism attacks. Therefore, the sensing of the nerve agent in very low levels is highly important. This work gained wide recognition and was later funded by the National Science Foundation, USA. The details of this work were published in the journal of Advanced Functional Materials [2]. In 2008, his innovative research work on nanopatterning which demonstrated current sensing AFM (CS AFM) onto a nanostructured layer-by-layer (LBL) ultrathin film of pendant carbazole-modified polyelectrolytes towards the formation of a complex nanopattern called "nano-car" was highlighted as the cover page in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal of Macromolecules (Figure 1) [3].