Research News & Features

Physical Science & Technology

Contact: Sharon Hatch, College of Sciences, hatch@wsu.edu, 509/335-4262

WSU Physicist Wang Receives Germany’s Humboldt Research Award


PULLMAN, Wash. - Nanoscientist Lai-Sheng Wang, professor of physics and materials science at Washington State University Tri-Cities and affiliate chief scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists.

The 60,000 Euro award, which is one of the top awards given by Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, recognizes Wang's "past accomplishments in research and teaching."

Wang is a world leader in nanoclusters research. For example, he and his colleagues created hollow nanoscale cages of gold atoms, the first known metallic equivalent of the famous carbon fullerene or "buckyball." In addition, he pioneered the study of multiply charged negative ions and initiated the study of solution molecules in the gas phase. His team also created the first all-metal aromatic molecules and discovered unexpected properties of extremely small particles of boron.

During his 16 years in research, his numerous publications have been frequently featured in top journals, including Science and Nature. He is active in professional societies, including the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Materials Research Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2003, he was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.

His work has been recognized with several other important awards, including the Guggenheim fellowship, the Washington State University distinguished faculty award, the National Science Foundation creativity award, and the Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation presents up to 100 of these awards annually to encourage international research collaborations and to promote a worldwide network of scholars. The awards include an invitation for the recipients to conduct research projects of their choice in Germany for up to a year.

"My primary goal will be to collaborate with Professor Manfred Kappes from Universitat Karlsruhe, which has just been ranked as one of the top three universities in Germany," said Wang. "Our research topics will involve investigations of the structures and chemical properties of nanoclusters, fullerenes and multiply charged anions. I also plan to collaborate with other scientists from several universities in Berlin on topics related to cluster structures, reactivities and dynamics. I will likely use my award for multiple short visits.

"I am very grateful for the award since it will allow me to engage in more extensive research collaborations with German colleagues and to learn more about German culture."

Wang joined WSU and PNNL in 1993 and carries out his research at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL. Located in Richland, Wash., PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Related News

  • World Record Attempt to Use 'Juiced Bat' Developed at WSU

    PULLMAN, Wash.—You might not think that science and baseball have a lot in common, but baseball is all about science. On April 13, when famed hitter and World Series champion, Jimmy Rollins, attempts to break the Guinness World Record of 576 feet for the longest batted ball in baseball...

  • WSU Receives NSF Grant for Semiconductor Technology Research

    PULLMAN, Wash.− Washington State University’s Center for Design of Analog-Digital Integrated Circuits (CDADIC) has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for semiconductor technology research. The five-year, $295,000 award will help CDADIC continue its long history of advancing the state-of-the-art in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design. Through its research and educational programs, the center has funded over 250 research projects and supported approximately 450 students since 1989.

  • New products help users access weather info

    PROSSER - In an effort to provide valuable data to their technologically savvy clientele, the WSU AgWeatherNet development team has released two new weather products, as well as a third product developed by 4Quarters, Inc.. The first product is a new website, designed and formatted specifically for mobile computing devices. The AgWeatherNet mobile website will transform how the agricultural industry accesses real-time weather information, said William Corsi, technical coordinator of AgWeatherNet.

  • A global perspective: Viticulture expert to publish grapevine science textbook

    PROSSER - WSU viticulturist Markus Keller's book is a bestseller - and it hasn't even been published yet. The textbook, “The Science of Grapevines: Anatomy and Physiology,” has a Feb. 12 publication date. But based on pre-orders, it is already an Amazon.com bestseller in the plants/physiology category.

  • Pullman to become smart grid community

    PULLMAN - A group of WSU researchers will be working with Avista on a demonstration project that hopes to make the city of Pullman the region’s first smart grid community. The Pullman project is part of a Department of Energy regional smart grid demonstration project throughout the Northwest that is designed to expand upon existing electric infrastructure and test new smart grid technology.

  • Aiding quest to make gravitational waves visible

    PULLMAN – Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts them. And tiny movements in large objects confirm them. But scientists have yet to see gravitational waves.

  • WSU Joins with NASA, USGS CVO in High-Tech Monitoring of Mt. St. Helens

    VANCOUVER, Wash. – Using sensor software written by a team of researchers at Washington State University, a dozen high-tech robotic pods forming a network built to operate in hostile environments are currently being used in hot spots inside and around the mouth of the most deadly and active volcano in the continental United States.

  • How Solid Is Concrete's Carbon Footprint?

    PULLMAN, Wash.—Many scientists currently think at least 5 percent of humanity's carbon footprint comes from the concrete industry, both from energy use and the carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct from the production of cement, one of concrete's principal components.

  • WSU Astrobiologist Updates Book on the Search for Life Beyond Earth

    PULLMAN, Wash.-The search for life on other worlds goes on, and Dirk Schulze-Makuch has a lot to say about how we should go about it. The Washington State University astrobiologist has just come out with a second edition of the 2004 book he wrote with Louis Irwin of the University of Texas at El Paso. “Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints” was so well received that the publisher, Springer, asked him and Irwin to write a second edition just four years later.

  • Major Grant Secured for Chemical Study Related to Alternative Energy

    PULLMAN, Wash. – The National Science Foundation has awarded $650,000 to two chemistry faculty members at Washington State University for a research project designed to improve chemical models related to solar-electric energy and other light-sensitive applications.

  • WSU Researchers to Use High-Speed Fiber Optic

    PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University’s research community will enjoy the benefits of high-speed fiber optic bandwidth by the beginning of the new semester in 2009. The university’s Information Technology Services division finalized a contract with 360 Network Inc. of Seattle to lease fiber optic cable access with 40 gigabytes per second capacity.

  • Anthropologist Receives Funding to Enhance DNA Testing of Ancient Remains

    PULLMAN, Wash. — Anthropologists and detectives have one thing in common: they like to solve a good mystery, and Washington State University assistant professor Brian Kemp is no exception.

Research News and Features, PO Box 641040, Washington State University 99164-0932, 509-335-3581, Contact Us