HKIAS Rising Star Lecture Series

HKIAS Rising Star Lecture – Chemistry

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 experts presented their latest findings of interface chemistry, biological chemistry, and intercalation chemistry.

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