Yang Wu Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship
2010 Scholarship Program Recipient
Ternary Zinc Antimonide Derivatives: Structure Characterization and their Thermoelectric Applications
IMPACT OF THE SCHOLARSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL PURSUITS
I received the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship in 2010 during the pursuit of my Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Prof. Ulrich Haussermann at Arizona State University in the United States. The research activity was on identifing possible ternary derivatives of zinc antimonides, which was one of the state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials. Several derivatives were obtained by synthetic efforts and structurally determined by X-ray diffraction. In this research project, crystallography turned out to be a necessary and powerful means to appreciate the material properties from a structural point of view. I dedicated a part of my Ph.D. to determine the structure of novel indium-based ternary derivatives and interpreted the impact of important structural features such as disordering on the properties. The lattice contribution to the total thermal conductivity could be suppressed by disordering, which significantly deflects the propagation of phonons. Thus, the introduction of disordering to the structure is a potential direction to design high performance thermoelectric materials. The Ludo Frevel Scholarship provides me with great opportunity to continuously pursue knowledge in material chemistry and physics, with the help of crystallography.
I returned to China after I received my Ph.D. in chemistry in 2011 and become a research scientist in Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research Center at Tsinghua University. The fundamental understanding of material properties plays a critical role toward industrial applications. The research I am now carrying out is highly interdisciplinary and involves both material chemistry and material physics. Thanks to my knowledge in crystallography we could bridge these different research aspects via the critical goal of establishing the structure-property relationship. This could not only be applied to study many emerged phenomena in energy storage materials, catalysts, but also provides practical use in exploring the condensed matter systems that possess topologically protected surface states.
I was very privileged and surprised to become one of the recipients of the Ludo Frevel Scholarship. I still can feel the influence many years after I received the award because it encouraged me to explore multiple branches of solid state chemistry and physics and, more importantly, to face the challenges in my career.
More than 50 publications including articles, reviews, patents, and co-authored one book chapter with more than 1000 citations according to Google Scholar.
Since the scholarship's inception in 1991, the ICDD has given 191 scholarships to aspiring crystallographers; a total of $454,750 has been awarded! Scholarship awards are made possible by donations from both individuals and corporations to the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Fund. Please click on the "Donate Now" button below to make your tax-deductible donation today. Alternatively, contributions can be sent to the Crystallography Scholarship Fund at the address below.