The UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomes Chong Liu, who will join our department as an assistant professor of inorganic chemistry this July.
Professor Liu will take up residency in the department in July 2017. His group will explore the power of inorganic electrochemical systems for energy, biology, and environmental applications. Some of the questions Chong is interested in exploring are “how can we design inorganic nanomaterials to facilitate the study in biochemistry and microbiology?” and “what else can electrochemical systems help our society beyond batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers?”.
Chong received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Fudan University, China, where he synthesized mesoporous materials with Prof. Dongyuan Zhao. He then pursued his graduate research at University of California, Berkeley, working with Prof. Peidong Yang. His thesis focused on artificial photosynthesis that uses solar energy to synthesize selective chemicals. A variety of building blocks, including inorganic catalysts, semiconductor nanomaterials, and even microorganisms with selective reactivity, are integrated to create efficient functional devices. He received Materials Research Society graduate student award for his work. After receiving his Ph. D. in chemistry at Berkeley, Chong continued his career at Harvard University, working with Prof. Daniel Nocera as a Lee Kuan Yew postdoctoral fellow. At Harvard he combined the strengths of biology and inorganic chemistry, and developed inorganic/bio hybrid systems of solar-driven CO2 and N2 fixation with the efficiencies higher than natural counterparts. This work was published in Science last year of which he was the co-first author.