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  • [July 4, 2017]

    From extended surface to Nanocatalysts: Molecular Specificity Controlled NanoCrystal Growth for High-Performing Catalysts

  • Speaker:
    Yu Huang
    Date:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2017
    Time:
    3:30-4:30pm
    Location:
    Room 434, Mechanics Building
    Host:
    Yanglong Hou
  • Abstract
  • Material formation in nature is precisely controlled in all aspects from crystal nucleation, growth to assembly to deliver superior functions. Specific biomolecule-material interactions have been hypothesized to play important roles in these processes. Proteins, polymers and small molecules have been extensively explored to replicate the degree of control in material formation in vitro and for nonbiogenic materials. However the organic-inorganic interfacial interaction is still far from being understood which hinders the further advancement of biomimetic material formation. In this talk I will share our efforts on decoding the myth of biomolecular specificity to material surface and their roles in controlling crystal nucleation and growth. The selection of facet specific short peptides and their abilities in guiding predictable morphology control of Pt nanocrystals will be first demonstrated. Then detailed experimental and theoretical studies on binding mechanism will be discussed. Based on mechanistic understanding, we designed small molecules bearing molecular signature for facet specific adsorption to modulate the nucleation/growth of the Pt and Pt alloy nanocrystals to deliver the expected nanostructures and functions. At the end of talk I will share our recent research on improving catalytic functions of nanocrystals through synthetic design. These studies open up opportunities in understanding the molecular details of inorganic-organic interface interaction, which can one day lead to the development of a library of molecular functions for biomimetic materials design and engineering.
  • Biography
  • Dr. Yu Huang is a full professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She received her B.S. in Chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China, and her Ph.D in physical chemistry and M.A in Chemistry from Harvard University. Before she embarked on her independent career at UCLA She was awarded the prestigious Lawrence Fellowship and held a joint postdoctoral position with LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Lab) and MIT.
     At UCLA Prof. Huang explores the unique technological opportunities that result from the structure and assembly of nanoscale building blocks. Her research focuses on mechanistic understanding of nanoscale phenomena and on exploiting the unique properties of nanoscale materials for various applications. Taking advantage of the unique roles of nanoscale surfaces and interfaces, Prof. Huang is creating methodologies to apply the latest developments in nanoscale materials and nanotechnology for probing nanoscale processes that can fundamentally impact a wide range of technologies including materials synthesis, catalysis, fuel cells, and devices applications.
    Prof. Huang’s achievements have gained her international and national recognitions including the (International Precious Metal Institute) IPMI Carol Tyler Award, the (Materials Research Society) MRS Fellow, the PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering), the (National Institute of Health) NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) DARPA Young Faculty Award, the World’s Top 100 Young Innovators award, the Sloan Fellowship,  (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) IUPAC Young Chemist Award, and the Nano 50 Award.