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The University of Tennessee

The Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department

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Dr. Stephen J. Paddison

Gibson Endowed Chair in Engineering
Ph.D., University of Calgary, Canada: Computational materials science as applied to electrolytes and electrocatalysts

Brief Bio

Stephen J. Paddison received a B.Sc.(Honours) in Chemical Physics and a Ph.D. (1996) in Physical/Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Calgary, Canada.  He was, subsequently, a postdoctoral fellow and staff member in the Materials Science Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he undertook both experimental and theoretical investigations of sulfonic acid based polymer electrolyte membranes.  This work was continued while he was part of Motorola’s Computational Materials Group in Los Alamos, NM.  He spent a portion of the summer of 2003 as a Visiting Fellow of Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, UK and the entire summer of ’04 as a guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. He spent 3 years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Materials science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in August of 2007. 

Research Areas

During the past decade his research work has been primarily concerning with obtaining fundamental molecular-level understanding of proton conduction in polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) commonly employed in low temperature (< 120 °C) fuel cells through both ab initio and statistical mechanical based theoretical modeling and high frequency dielectric spectroscopy characterization experiments.  He continues to employ a number of methodologies including high level (DFT) electronic structure calculations, ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD), classical molecular dynamics, quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) and equilibrium and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. Current collaboration include the group of Klaus-Dieter Kreuer at the Max Planck Institute für Festkörperforschung in Stuttgart, the group of James A. Elliott in the Materials Science Department at the University of Cambridge, and most recently Mark E. Tuckerman in the Chemistry Department at New York University.

Selected Awards and Honors

2013, 2014 Ferguson Faculty Fellowship, UTK
2012 Chancellor's Research & Creative Achievement Award, UTK
2011 Tom & Ruth Clark Award for Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Education, UTK
2010, 2011 College of Engineering Research Fellow Award, UTK
2009 Visiting Scholar, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, UK
2007 3M Untenured Faculty Award
2007 The UAH Foundation Research & Creative Achievement Award
2002 The Gold Quill Award, Motorola Inc.

Professional Activities

• Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)
• Member of the American Chemical Society, Inc.
• Member of The Electrochemical Society, Inc.
• Member of the Materials Research Society
• Member of the Board: Solid State Proton Conductors (SSPC)

Selected Publications

Reiter, G. F., Deb, A., Sakurai, Y., Itou, M., Krishnan, V. G., Paddison, S. J. (2013). “Anomalous ground state of the electrons in nano-confined water” Physical Review Letters 111, 036803.

Wang, C., Krishnan, V., Wu, D., Bledsoe, R., Paddison, S. J., Duscher, G. (2013). “Evaluation of the microstructure of dry and hydrated perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers: microscopy and simulations” Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1, 938-944.

Vilciauskas, L., Tuckerman, M. E., Bester, G., Paddison, S. J., Kreuer, K. D. (2012). "The mechanism of proton conduction in phosphoric acid." Nature Chemistry 4, 461-466.

Reiter, G. F., Kolesnikov, A., Paddison, S. J., Platzman, P. M., Moravsky, A. P., Adams, M., Mayers, J. (2012). "Evidence of a new quantum state of nano-confined water." Physical Review B 85, 045403.

Elliott, J. A., Wu, D., Paddison, S. J., Moore, R. B. (2011). " A unified morphological description of Nafion membranes from SAXS and mesoscale simulations." Soft Matter 7, 6820-6827.

Habenicht, B. F., Paddison, S. J., Tuckerman, M. E. (2010). " Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations investigating proton transfer in perfluorosulfonic acid functionalized carbon nanotubes." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12, 8728-8732.

Hayes, R. L., Paddison, S. J., Tuckerman, M. E. (2009). "Proton Transport in Triflic Acid Hydrates studied via Path Integral Car Parrinello Molecular Dynamics." Journal of Physical Chemistry B 113, 16574-16589.

Wu, D., Paddison, S. J., Elliott, J. A. (2008). "A comparative study of the hydrated morphologies of perfluorosulfonic acid fuel cell membranes." Energy and Environmental Science 1, 284-293.

Hristov, I. H., Paddison, S. J., Paul, R. (2008). "Molecular Modeling of Proton Transport in the Short-Side-Chain Perfluorosulfonic Acid Ionomer." Journal of Physical Chemistry B 128, 2937-2949.

Kreuer, K. D., Schuster, M., Obliers, B., Diat, O., Traub, U., Fuchs, A., Klock, U., Paddison, S. J., Maier, J. (2008). "Short-side-chain proton conducting perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers: Why they perform better in PEM fuel cells." Journal of Power Sources 178, 499-509.

Elliott, J. A., Paddison. S. J. (2007). "Modelling of morphology & proton transport in PFSA membranes." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 9, 2602-2618.

Paddison, S. J., Kreuer, K. D., Maier J. (2006). "About the choice of the protogenic group in polymer electrolyte membranes: Ab initio modeling of sulfonic acid, phosphonic acid, and imidazole functionalized alkanes." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 8, 4530-4542.

Paddison. S. J., Elliott, J. A., (2006). "On the consequences of side chain flexibility and backbone conformation on hydration and proton dissociation in perfluorosulfonic acid membranes." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 8, 2193-2203.

Paddison. S. J., Elliott, J. A., (2005). "Molecular Modeling of the Short-Side-Chain Perfluorosulfonic Acid Membrane." Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109, 7583-7593.

Kreuer, K. D., Paddison, S. J., Spohr, E., Schuster, M. (2004). "Transport in Proton Conductors for Fuel Cell Applications: Simulations, Elementary Reactions, and Phenomenology." Chemical Reviews 104, 4637-4678.

Paddison. S. J. (2003). "Proton conduction mechanisms in Polymer Electrolyte Membranes at low degrees of hydration." Annual Review of Materials Research 33, 289-319.

Paddison, S. J., Paul, R., Zawodzinski Jr., T. A. (2000). "A Statistical Mechanical Model of Proton and Water Transport in a Proton Exchange Membrane." Journal of the Electrochemical Society 147, 617-626.

Selected Patents

Hydrophilic Side-Chain Polymer Electrolyte Membranes”, S.J. Paddison – sole inventor, United States Patent 6,989,205, issued January 24th, 2006.


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Contact Dr. Paddison

321 Dougherty Engineering Bldg.
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-2200
Tel: (865) 974-2026


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