Texas A&M University chemist and 2020 Presidential Impact Fellow Lei Fang has been selected to receive a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers in support of his research on conjugated polymers and novel organic materials with unprecedented electronic or optical properties and application.
Each year the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables thousands of outstanding researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany by awarding Humboldt fellowships in two categories: postdoctoral researchers just beginning their independent academic careers and experienced researchers who have completed their doctorates within the past 12 years. Applications are reviewed three times a year by a selection committee featuring 60 to 70 researchers from a variety of fields. In typical years, an average of 25 to 30 percent of applicants receive fellowships.
Fang earned his doctorate in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2010 under the mentorship of 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry co-recipient Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, then spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University prior to joining the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry in 2013. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
At Texas A&M, Fang leads a multidisciplinary research group studying functional organic materials with electronic, thermal or photo-activity in search of applications associated with electronics, energy, smart materials and catalysis. His research seeks to gain insights into design principles and structure-property relationships of these materials at both the molecular and the macroscopic scale by employing the toolboxes of synthetic chemistry, materials characterization and process engineering. His research group is particularly interested in the bottom-up synthesis and processing of ladder polymers and microporous polymer networks.
Widely viewed as a rising star in polymer and materials science, Fang previously has been recognized with a 2017 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in support of his research on polymer properties and dynamic bond-promoted coplanarity as well as a 2018 Polymers Young Investigator Award recognizing outstanding polymer chemists under the age of 35 across the world. In addition to being named a 2018 Royal Society of Chemistry Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator and a 2017 American Chemical Society Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Young Investigator, Fang was honored by the chemistry industry as the recipient of the KANEKA Junior Faculty Award in 2015.
Fang plans to travel to Germany next year, where he will collaborate with host researcher and fellow chemist Xinliang Feng at Technische Universität Dresden on the synthesis and application of graphene nanoribbons and porous graphitic carbon.
Learn more about the Humboldt Foundation and its award programs at https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/en/.
For additional information about Fang and his research, go to http://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/fang/.
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