Wang Awarded PPG Fellowship
Tongkun Wang (Auerbach Group) Awarded a PPG Fellowship Award for outstanding research in the area of materials chemistry. Research summary: People in Prof. Scott Auerbach’s group focus on the study of zeolites, which are atomic crystals formed by tetrahedral atoms like Si with bridging atoms like O. As noticeable members of molecular sieves, zeolites have interesting porous structures and channels. To better understand their formation mechanism, we performed periodic density functional theory simulations and probed key precursors. Combined with experimental results from our collaborators, we successfully used Raman spectroscopy and thermodynamics calculations to reveal defects and explained why or why not they can be healed with the presence of organic structure directing agents. In future works, I will extend my ab initio molecular dynamics simulations in aqueous environment and study processes from monomers, via important building units, to full crystalline, which will help us to predict and design the synthesis for zeolites we want.