Chemistry of materials and the ACS Inorganic Chemistry Division are proud to announce this Shruti Hariyani, PhD student and research fellow at the University of Houston and Jakoah Brgoch, Associate Professor at the University of Houston and Principal Investigator at the Texas Center for Superconductivity, are the 2021 winners Chemistry of materials Lecturer and Best Paper Award. The award honors the authors of an article published in 2020 that has made an outstanding impact in the field of materials chemistry while recognizing that research is a team venture.

The winning paper “Local structural distortion induced broadband emission in the inorganic BaScO2Q: Eu2+ Perovskite ”illustrates the ability, through calculations and experiments, to gain a deeper understanding of how local distortions can affect the properties of a material. “An important aspect is that low concentrations of rare earth dopants can affect the local structure of the host material, which should have a significant impact on the design of future phosphor materials,” says Sara E. Skrabalak, editor-in-chief of Chemistry of materials.

Regarding the teamwork aspect of the award, Skrablak notes, “The nomination materials also highlighted creative problem solving and effective mentoring as Shruti learned how to do advanced calculations through zoom meetings with Professor Brgoch during lab shutdowns. This training was a stepping stone for Shruti who is now working with other groups to understand different phosphor systems. “

Read an interview with Professor Brgoch

What does it mean for you to win this award?

It is an absolute pleasure to have selected our work from so much outstanding research published in Chemistry of materials. We have spent a great deal of time deepening our understanding of the basic structure-composition-property relationships that govern luminescent materials.

This project provided an incredible, if sometimes frustrating, opportunity to understand how local structure affects optical properties. This award confirms all of our efforts.

We hope that the award’s highlighting of our work will encourage researchers to critically examine the importance of local structure in bulk solids. Of course, we are also grateful for financial support for this project from the Welch Foundation and the NSF, which have enabled us to answer this fundamental chemical problem.

This award is about teamwork. How did the collaboration lead to the results achieved and described in your article?

This project started with an attempt to understand bizarre optical properties in a simple system. We developed a series of synchrotron scattering experiments to answer our questions, but then COVID-19 closed our lab.

Fortunately, we were able to use our group’s background in the calculation to find a solution. Shruti is an excellent graduate student, and we tirelessly exchanged ideas while working from home to identify a possible local bias mechanism that accurately describes what we saw.

Stay tuned for details on the upcoming events Chemistry of materials Symposium on the Lectureship and Best Paper Award during the ACS Fall National Meeting.

Check out these other articles from the winning authors:

Prediction of thermal quenching in inorganic phosphors
Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 14, 6256-6265
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.chemmater.0c02231
***.
Sr.6th(BO3rd)3rdBN2: An Oxido-Nitrido-Borate-Phosphorus with BN2 Dumbbells
Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 19, 8587- 8594
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.chemmater.0c02925
***.
Ba3rdY.2B.6thÖfifteen: Ce3+– A highly symmetrical, narrowly emitting blue phosphor for white light with a large color range
Chem. Mater. 2018, 30, 8, 2668- 2675
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.chemmater.8b00111
***.
Closing the cyan gap to full spectrum LED lighting with NaMgBO3rd: Ce3+
Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 2, 882- 888
DOI: DOI: 10.1021 / acs.chemmater.9b04739



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