19 March 2018

CUHK Nanotechnologist Wins Khwarizmi International Award

Prof. Jianfang Wang, Professor from the Department of Physics and Assistant Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Science at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has been selected as the 31st Laureate of the Khwarizmi International Award (KIA), in recognition of his excellent achievements in the field of Colloidal Plasmonic Metal Nanocrystals. The award ceremony was held earlier in Tehran, Iran. Prof. Wang is the only Asian scholar among five awardees this year.

Prof. Wang said, “I am honoured to be selected for this award. I would like to thank the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), the National Natural Science Foundation of China and CUHK for their financial support to my research. Also, special thanks go to my research team and collaborators for their great and hard work over the years. We will push nanotechnology further forward into many practical applications, including visual sensing devices, anti-counterfeiting labels, ultrasensitive chemical and biological sensing devices, substrates for ultrasensitive spectroscopy, smart windows and mirrors, solar energy harvesting and utilisation, and so on.”

Attach great importance to both basic and applied research and bring nanotechnology to life

Prof. Wang is a well-known scientist in nanotechnology and plasmonics. He and his research group have been working on colloidal plasmonic metal nanocrystals since he joined CUHK in 2005.

When the size of a metal crystal, such as gold, silver and platinum, is reduced to nanoscale, similar to thousandths of the diameter of a human hair, it will possess unique optical properties that are extremely attractive to the development of various technological applications. These properties include absorbing or scattering light in extremely high efficiency, generating localised surface plasmon resonance and focusing light into a spatial volume of a few nanometers in size which increases the local optical power density dramatically. These enable a variety of promising technological applications, such as miniaturised photonic circuits, diverse spectroscopies for materials characterisation and detection, photocatalysis and solar energy harvesting. Prof. Wang also achieved precise control of the size and shape of nanocrystals at the nanometer resolution and mastered the ability to vary the plasmonic properties and behaviors according to different needs. He has gained a thorough understanding of the plasmonic properties of nanocrystals and their interactions with various nanoscale optical species.

In the many practical applications in to which Prof. Wang has moved nanocrystals, their smart tags are a type of time–temperature indicator, which can be used to visually indicate if products have been subjected to temperatures above their tolerable level for a certain period during their logistics. They can be specifically tailored and used to track perishable products, such as food and medicine, dynamically mimic the deteriorative processes therein, and indicate product quality through sharp-contrast multi-colour changes.

Prof. Wang also received the Impactful Publication Award 2014-2017 from Princeton Instruments in recognition of his excellent research achievements. He was also honoured by the Ministry of Education with the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (2016, First-Class Awards in Natural Science).

The Khwarizmi International Award

The Khwarizmi International Award was created in 1987 by the Iranian Research Organisation for Science and Technology (IROST), affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran. IROST proposed the creation of KIA in memory of Abu Jafar Mohammad Ibn Mousa Mousa Khwarizmi, the great Iranian Mathematician and Astronomer of the 9thcentury and to acknowledge  outstanding achievements in the field of Science and Technology. KIA was open to Iranians only, before being extended to international scholars’ applications in 1992. The award attracts more international recognition nowadays and has been receiving sponsors from various international organisations such as The Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries. To greatly honour the winners of this award, the Khwarizmi International Award is personally presented by his Excellency, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, CUHK is a leading comprehensive research university with a global reputation. Located in the heart of Asia, CUHK has a vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.  Under the University’s unique collegial system, the programmes and activities offered by its nine colleges complement the formal curricula by delivering whole-person education and pastoral care. The University has eight faculties: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science. Together with the Graduate School, the University offers over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All faculties are actively engaged in research in a wide range of disciplines, with an array of research institutes and research centres specialising in interdisciplinary research of the highest quality.

CUHK is recognised as the most innovative university in Hong Kong and ranks 27th in the Asia-Pacific region by the latest ‘Reuters: Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative Universities’ listing. The University currently has more than 800 granted patents in different jurisdictions worldwide. A majority of these patents have been licensed to relevant industries that help bring these innovations to the market to benefit society. In academic year 2016-17, CUHK has received 88 granted patents and filed 183 patent applications for inventions developed in the areas of medical technology, biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, and materials science.

Prof. Wang Jianfang attends the award presentation ceremony in Iran.
Prof. Wang Jianfang attends the award presentation ceremony in Iran.

Prof. Wang Jianfang(1st right) receives the Khwarizmi International Award from Iran President Hassan Rouhani(2nd right).
Prof. Wang Jianfang(1st right) receives the Khwarizmi International Award from Iran President Hassan Rouhani(2nd right).