Dr Ezio Rizzardo FRS
Ezio Rizzardo is a leading figure in the world of organic chemistry, best known for his pioneering work on the synthesis of polymers. By devising techniques to regulate the speed at which polymer chains form, he has enabled the construction of molecules used in processes ranging from drug delivery to the construction of solar cells.
Together with colleagues at the Australian CSIRO laboratories, he found that using free radicals — compounds with a single highly reactive unpaired electron — gave him an advanced degree of control over various aspects of polymer chain formation. In addition to mechanisms capable of controlling chain length and reaction speed, he has also patented a reversible process known as RAFT polymerisation, which has become a standard tool in polymer laboratories worldwide.
Ezio has won numerous awards for his work, including the 2009 CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement and Australia’s 2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. In 2005, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute named their annual Applied Research Award in his honour.
Interest and expertise