Graduate Student Anindita Das Receives Award from the International Precious Metals Institute
By Amy Pavlak
Chemistry Ph.D. candidate Anindita (Dia) Das received a student award from the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI), the largest and most well known association focused on precious metals. The award recognizes the work of undergraduate and graduate students around the world whose research is in the field of precious metals. Das will be presented with the award at the IPMI’s 38th annual conference in June.
Das synthesizes highly stable gold nanoclusters—containing only dozens of gold atoms—that are capable of being used in industrially relevant catalytic reactions. Working in the laboratory of Associate Professor of Chemistry Rongchao Jin, Das devised a strategy for manipulating nanoclusters at the single-atom level, allowing her to wield a precise level of control over their production. In collaboration with Tao Li, a graduate student in Nathaniel L. Rosi's group at the University of Pittsburgh, she used X-ray crystallography to determine their total structures, including the gold core and the surface molecules surrounding it. Deciphering the total structure of gold nanoclusters is critical for understanding their novel properties as well as the origin of their catalytic power, which will ultimately contribute to the rational design of new catalysts for industrial chemical processes.