May 01, 2013
Chemistry Graduate Student Receives Award from the International Precious Metals Institute
By Amy Pavlak
Chemistry Ph.D. candidate Santosh Kumar received a student award from the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI), the largest and most well known association focused on precious metals. Kumar was one of six students selected nationwide for the award, which recognizes the work of undergraduate and graduate students in the field of precious metals. He will be presented with the award at the IPMI’s 37th annual conference in June.
Kumar constructs gold and silver nanoclusters made up of an exact number of atoms, from several to dozens. The nanoclusters’ infinitesimally small size yields unique electronic and magnetic properties that make the tiny particles promising for a variety of applications.
Working in the laboratory of Associate Professor of Chemistry Rongchao Jin, Kumar has developed atomically precise nanoclusters that overcome some of the problems associated with gold-containing nanoparticles, including toxicity and poor solubility in water. Kumar’s water-soluble and less-toxic nanoclusters now have the potential to be used in biological and medical applications. He is also exploring the possibility of using the clusters for energy applications, including solar cells.