Carnegie Mellon University

Qi Li in the mountains

June 14, 2018

Graduate Student Qi Li Receives Award from the International Precious Metals Institute

By Ben Panko

Chemistry Ph.D. candidate Qi Li has received the Bright Futures Student Award from the International Precious Metals Institute for his work on gold nanoparticles. The $5,000 prize sponsored by the Gero Family Trust will be presented this month at the institute's annual conference in Texas.

"My research mainly focuses on the atomic-structure tailoring of a 23-gold-atom nanoparticle, and then modulating and optimizing its properties," Li said. Last year, Li published a study in the journal Science Advances demonstrating the first instance of site-specific surgery on a nanoparticle. "This work constitutes a major step toward the development of atomically precise, versatile nanochemistry for the precise tailoring of the nanoparticle structure to control its physical properties," Li said.

Li, who works in the lab of Chemistry Professor Rongchao Jin, also has researched different models of "doping" gold nanoparticles, a process where a small amount of another metal is added to the nanoparticle. "This series of work demonstrates the intriguing chemistry of doping for tailoring the atomic-structures and properties of ultrasmall metal nanoparticles," Li noted.