HKIAS Rising Star Lecture - Chemistry

5 October 2021


Professor Angus Hin Lap Yip, Dr. Chaoliang Tan and Dr. Chun Kit Kwok presented an online lecture for the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study.

The field of chemistry brings us unique solutions that enhance our lives in innumerable ways. The Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) Rising Star Lecture – Chemistry was held both at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and online on 30 September 2021 (Thursday). In the talk, three promising young chemists featured their research results on the development of controlling the nanostructure of perovskite optoelectronic materials, the understanding of ribonucleic acid (RNA) structure, and the structural engineering of layered nanomaterials.

Kicking off the lecture was Professor Angus Hin Lap Yip, a Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and School of Energy and Environment of CityU. He delivered a talk titled "Molecularly Engineered Interfaces in Metal Halide Perovskite Optoelectronic Materials and Devices". Over the past few years, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites have emerged as a new class of solution-processable semiconductors for many optoelectronic applications, such as solar cells and light-emitting devices (LEDs). Professor Yip discussed how to control the dimension and nanostructure of perovskites by introducing small molecules with tailored functional groups that can strongly interact with the perovskite crystals.

Professor Yip's research is in the general area of solution-processed optoelectronic materials and devices for energy generation and energy saving. He started his academic career as a Professor in the State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices and the School of Materials Science and Engineering at South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, in 2013. Since 2017, he has also served as the Director of Innovation Center for Printed Organic Photovoltaics in the South China Institute of Collaborative Innovation, Dongguan, promoting technology transfer and commercialization of new photovoltaic technologies.

Dr. Chun Kit Kwok, an Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution of CityU, presented the second talk titled "A Renaissance in RNA Structure". Being a close cousin of DNA, the lesser-known RNA has received worldwide attention in the COVID-19 pandemic. In his presentation, Dr. Kwok reported his team's effort to explore and understand the folding status, structural features, and biological roles of an RNA structure, particularly a specific motif – RNA G-quadruplex (rG4), and elaborated with specific examples.

Dr. Kwok's current research focuses on exploring RNA structures and interactions in biology, mainly the functions of G-quadruplex structures/interactions and non-coding RNA structures/interactions in the mammalian transcriptome and their relevance to gene regulation, RNA metabolism, and diseases. To cultivate a stimulating learning environment for students and establish the RNA community in Hong Kong, Dr. Kwok co-founded the Hong Kong RNA Club in 2017 and regularly organized RNA seminars and symposium events.

Concluding this lecture was Dr. Chaoliang Tan, an Assistant Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering of CityU. In his talk titled "Structural Engineering of Layered Nanomaterials by Lithium Intercalation Chemistry", he presented the recent progress in the structural engineering of layered materials by intercalation chemistry. Furthermore, he introduced the advantages of this discovery and pointed out its potential applications in different fields, including photothermal cancer therapy and aqueous Zn-ion battery.

Dr. Tan's research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of semiconductors (2D materials or thin films) for next-generation of wafer-scale electronics (transistors and circuits) and optoelectronics (infrared photodetectors and imaging sensor systems). He was a Highly Cited Researcher from 2018 to 2020 according to Clarivate Analytics (Top 1%); he was listed in the Top 2% of the world’s most highly cited scientists in the field of engineering by Stanford University in 2020.

This lecture is supported in part by the Kwang Hua Educational Foundation.

More information about the lecture, please click here

Professor Jacob Huang, Executive Director of HKIAS, presented the certificate to three Rising Stars, (left) Professor Yip, (middle) Dr. Kwok and (right) Dr. Tan

About the HKIAS Rising Star Lecture Research Grants
Since its establishment, nurturing and supporting early career researchers has been a key part of the HKIAS mission. To inspire young academic leaders and promote diversity in academia, HKIAS launched a first-of-its-kind lecture series in this new semester – HKIAS Rising Star Lecture. Fifteen short-listed promising scholars at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will present their latest work in five HKIAS Rising Star Lectures, focusing on Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, and Life Science, from 15 September to 24 November 2021.

Those outstanding researchers went through a rigorous selection process. Each of them will receive a certificate issued by HKIAS after giving the lecture. Furthermore, to assist them in beginning a rewarding career in academia, HKIAS will offer research grants to each rising star on hiring postdoc or Ph.D. students.

(From the left) Professor Huang, Professor King-Ning Tu, Chair Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Electrical Engineering of CityU, Dr. Tan, Professor Yip, Dr. Kwok, Professor Alex Jen, Lee Shau Kee Chair Professor of Materials Science of CityU, Professor Wenjun Zhang, Acting Head and Chair Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering of CityU, Professor Hua Zhang, Herman Hu Chair Professor of Nanomaterials of CityU, and Professor Andrey L Rogach, Chair Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering of CityU.

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