Haotian Yang Wins National ACS Graduate Student Award

Haotian Yang, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been selected for the 2023 Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award is based on research productivity, future goals and recommendations from colleagues.

In collaboration with Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) scientists and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Yang developed a new generation of nanoparticles to address environmental problems and utilizes a very special method of making such nanoparticles, where gold vapor infuses super cold helium droplets and creates a jet of highly uniform catalysts. The equipment used to produce liquid helium is based in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, with other research conducted at BNL’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

Yang proposed a novel mechanism for enhancing the activity of gold toward carbon monoxide oxidation, which can have significant implications for designing better nanomaterials to address environmental concerns.

Yang’s recently published paper, “Enhancing CO Oxidation Activity via Tuning a Charge Transfer Between Gold Nanoparticles and Supports,” was recognized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers with first place in the 2022 Environmental Division Graduate Student Paper Award, representing outstanding original research.

Alexander Orlov, Yang’s PhD supervisor and professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, said, “All of my colleagues agree that Haotian is extremely bright, hardworking, compassionate and a truly remarkable student. Haotian has already published seven outstanding papers in very highly impactful journals that gathered 400 citations (google scholar h-index = 6). He also received several awards, including a Travel Grant from the Graduate Student Organization and IACS Young Writer’s Award from the Institute for Advanced Computation Science. Haotian is very passionate about his research area focused on materials science and chemical engineering, where I am sure he will be one of the leading researchers.”

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