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Stephen Paddison

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UTK


Stephen Paddison is an Associate Professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 1996 and subsequently spent 8 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  He has worked in the area of Computational Material Science with a specific focus on proton exchange membrane fuel cells electrolytes for the past 15 years. He has pioneered the application of both coarse-grained and ab initio modeling to elucidate the structure and ionic transport of ionomers – the central component in many energy conversion and storage devices.  He is an author of more than 65 refereed publications, has an H-index of 27, and has given70 invited talks at conferences, workshops, and universities around the world.  His research is currently funded by the Department of Energy, Army Research Office, and the National Science Foundation.  

Dr. Paddison was a Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Fitzwilliam College and the University of Cambridge, UK during the summers of 2003 and 2009. He was also a visiting scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung in Stuttgart, Germany in the summer of 2004. He has organized and co-organized 12 international meetings and symposia. He currently serves on the Solid State Proton Conductors (SSPC) board.


Selected Publications

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

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

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

S. J. Paddison and J.A. Elliott (2005) “Molecular modeling of the ‘short-side-chain’ perfluorosulfonic acid membrane” Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109, 7583-7593.

S. J. Paddison and J. A. Elliott (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. – featured on the inside front cover of issue.

S. J. Paddison, K.-D. Kreuer, and J. Maier (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. – featured on front cover of issue.

J. A. Elliott and S. J. Paddison (2007) “Modelling of morphology & proton transport in PFSA membranes” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 9, 2602-2618. – invited article & featured on front cover of issue.

D. Wu, S. J. Paddison, and J. A. Elliott (2008) “A comparative study of the hydrated morphologies of perfluorosulfonic acid fuel cell membranes” Energy and Environmental Science 1, 284-293. – featured on front cover of issue.

L. Vilciauskas, S. J. Paddison, and K.-D. Kreuer (2009)“Ab initio Modeling of Proton Transfer in Phosphoric Acid Clusters” Journal of Physical Chemistry A113, 9193-9201. – featured on front cover of issue.

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

B. F. Habenicht, S. J. Paddison, and M. E. Tuckerman (2010) “The effects of the hydrophobic environment on proton mobility in perfluorosulfonic acid systems: an ab initio molecular dynamics study Journal of Materials Chemistry 20, 6342-6351. – invited article in themed issue on proton transport for fuel cells.


Device and Materials Modeling in PEM Fuel Cells, Topics in Applied Physics Vol. 113, S. J. Paddison and K. S. Promislow, Editors, Chapters 1-19, Springer, New York (2008) pp. 1-588.


“Fuel cells a hot topic” – interview for Chemistry World, RSC, UK, October 2nd, 2007

“Conductivity linked to quantum state of the proton in Nafion-like materials” feature article for ISIS, Science & Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Laboratory, UK, March 2010

“UT supercomputer helps researchers understand fundamental properties of PEM fuel cells” – feature article for the National Institute for Computational Sciences, ORNL, TN, May 26th, 2010

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