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Seth B. Darling

Argonne Center for Molecular Engineering Director, Senior Scientist

Interdisciplinary science and engineering of materials-for-water


Seth B. Darling is the interim Chief Science & Technology Officer for the Energy and Global Security Directorate at Argonne National Laboratory.  He also serves as Director of the Center for Molecular Engineering, Senior Scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division, and Director of the Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS) Energy Frontier Research Center. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. His group’s research centers around molecular engineering with a current emphasis on advanced materials for cleaning water, having made previous contributions in fields ranging from self-assembly to advanced lithography to solar energy. He has published over 140 scientific articles, holds over a dozen patents, is a co-author of popular books on water and on debunking climate skeptic myths, and lectures widely on topics related to energy, water, and climate.

With colleagues at Argonne, Seth invented a new materials synthesis technique called sequential infiltration synthesis, which has found applications in areas ranging from nanolithography to optical coatings to advanced sorbents and membranes.  He led the team that received the Project Excellence Award from Argonne’s Energy & Global Sciences Directorate for its work on the Oleo Sponge, which has garnered extensive media and industry attention and won multiple R&D100 Awards.