Geoffrey Ozin is a giant in the world of nanochemistry. After more than five decades of renown as the groundbreaking leader of this scientific field, Ozin continues his pursuit of discovery unabated to this day. A Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto, Ozin’s most recent work is inspired by nothing less than a compelling urge to save the planet.
In 1992, Ozin achieved international stardom with his paper, “Nanochemistry – Synthesis in Diminishing Dimensions.” His work sparked a scientific revolution and global movement to apply nanochemistry in advanced materials science. It inspired the development of lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells and photovoltaics (to name a few)—technologies that are used today in products as diverse as cell phones and electric vehicles.
The nanomaterials to which Ozin has devoted his career now also underpin the development sustainable forms of agriculture and the electricity generation that powers renewable energy infrastructure. His work is at the basis of smart windows, high-efficiency thermal insulation, LED lighting, semiconductor electronics and much more.
Ozin has taken his scientific knowledge well beyond academia. He has written books that general audiences can appreciate—most recently, The Story of CO2: Big Ideas for a Small Molecule, and Energy Materials Discovery: Enabling a Sustainable Future. He has worked with internationally renowned artists to take advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology into the art world. And the Solar Fuels Cluster, a team of researchers he amassed at the University of Toronto, is turning CO2 into products instead of treating it as waste. A spin-off company he co-founded, called Solistra, is in the process of trying to commercialize his work. He often speaks of “the joy of taking laboratory ideas to innovation.”
Ozin is deeply involved with his community beyond making discoveries and innovations. He writes monthly materials, news articles, commentaries and editorials geared towards renewable energy, the environment and science policy for Advanced Science News and has a growing interest in equity, diversity, and inclusion in teaching and research to identify gaps and help remove barriers.