Academician Shuai Zhigang: Lighting with plastic

Located in the northwest corner of Tsinghua University, He Tianlou is a newly built chemical research center. Professor Shuai Zhigang is working in this building.

Not long ago, at the 45th Academician Conference of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences, Shuai Zhigang was elected as an academician of the Academy of Sciences and became the youngest academician of the Academy. He is also the only academician in China. In 1981, Professor Tang Zhaoqing (father of Chinese quantum chemistry) (who died in July this year) was elected as an academician. The International Academy of Quantum Molecules requires academicians to make outstanding contributions to quantum molecular science, to develop or lead an important academic direction.

Professor Shuai Zhigang developed several theoretical chemistry methods for the prediction and application of organic functional materials.

"Beijing Science and Technology News": Is this elected academician, is it in your expectation?

Shuai Zhigang: Yes. The election of the academician shows that the contribution of scientists is relatively large. I have been engaged in scientific research for more than ten years abroad. In the six or seven years after I returned to China, I have some original results and some doctrines.

My research field is how to theoretically predict the properties of a material; if you see a molecular structure, predict its luminous efficiency without experimentation.

I have studied organic materials, they are very widely used in the future, and the most important is the display field. Today's displays are picture tubes, liquid crystals, and the next generation is organic light-emitting materials. At the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, a picture-like display was placed across the center of the Bird's Nest. It used LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which were spliced ​​together by one point. The cost was relatively high, and our theoretical goal was to display it in plastic. This material can also be illuminated; under the premise of power-on, a soft wallpaper that emits light is beautiful and energy-saving. In the near future, the interior can be illuminated with plastic.

Beijing Science and Technology News: How do you think you have conquered the academicians to vote?

Shuai Zhigang: Among the academicians of the International Academy of Quantum Molecules, 11 have won the Nobel Prize and some have passed away. If you want to be rated as an academician, you must be nominated by an existing academician. Many of these academicians recognize my work.

On the first weekend of July each year, the selection of academicians begins. Each participant is required to submit ten masterpieces and two pages of self-introduction. The number of academicians who can be elected each year is no more than five. First of all, everyone must vote for the nominees. The votes must be more than half and the total number of votes must not exceed five to become a valid candidate. Then everyone can vote for these candidates and get more than two-thirds of the votes to become an academician of the Academy.

Last year, I was also nominated. When I submitted ten representative papers, I reported more on foreign work, and the academicians paid more attention to the research work independently carried out by scientists themselves.

"Beijing Science and Technology News": What have you been most impressed with in the past few years in the country?

Shuai Zhigang: The cultivation of students. In foreign countries, I basically do things myself, but when I return home, I bring a lot of students. I am most pleased that I can hand over the research results and experience abroad to domestic students. Theoretical research must be based on a high level to make a breakthrough.

Perhaps some students may not be engaged in quantum or molecular research in their lifetime, but they can seriously experience the process of scientific research. From the time of reading the materials to completing the scientific papers, his experience in studying here will benefit him a lot.

Beijing Science and Technology News: What do you need to do next?

Shuai Zhigang: Theoretical chemistry has three aspects: electronic structure, dynamics, and application, all of which are in my research direction. I will continue to study photovoltaic materials. The application prospects in this field are very extensive, which can be done for a lifetime.

Shuai Zhigang, Professor of Chemistry at Tsinghua University, winner of the National Outstanding Youth Fund, and Chief Scientist of the 973 Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Edit: LC-HY

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