Sarah H. Tolbert
Citation: For outstanding accomplishments in the development of new energy materials, particularly nanostructured and nanoporous materials for energy storage and harvesting
Current position: Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
Education: BS, chemistry, Yale University; PhD, chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Tolbert on who inspired her to become a scientist: “My father, Bert Tolbert. He was a renaissance man who worked on the Manhattan Project before becoming a biochemist, and thought deeply about fields ranging from engineering to agriculture. He passed away last year at the age of 100, and he continues to inspire me to question how anything and everything works, and not to worry about disciplinary boundaries.”
What Tolbert’s colleagues say: “Sarah is a consummately talented and creative experimentalist with a singularly deep and broad command and vision of materials for energy applications. Her work is revolutionizing design and function of materials by building nanoscale structures that combine synthesis and characterization approaches from the worlds of soft and hard matter.”—Richard B. Kaner, University of California, Los Angeles
Sarah H. Tolbert is a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. Her research focuses on controlling nanometer-scale architecture in solution-processed nanomaterials to generate unique optical, electronic, magnetic, structural, and electrochemical properties. She has published over 200 scholarly research article and has 20 patents focusing on electrochemical energy storage, organic electronics, nanomagnetics, nanoscale control of thermal conductivity, and new ultra-hard materials. She also serves as the faculty direct for a program aimed at bringing nano-concepts to schools, students, and the general public throughout the greater LA area. Professor Tolbert is the recipient of a number of awards including the American Chemical Society Henry H. Storch Award in Energy Chemistry, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, an NSF Special Creativity Award, the ACS R.A. Glen Award, and the UCLA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. She directs the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center on Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables (SCALAR).