Jiaxing Huang will receive the 2006 National Starch & Chemical Award for Outstanding Graduate Research at the upcoming ACS national meeting in San Francisco. The award will be presented by the Polymer Education Committee of the ACS Divisions of Polymer Chemistry and of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering. It consists of $2,000, a plaque, and travel expenses.
Under the direction of Richard B. Kaner, Huang received his doctorate in 2004 from the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctoral research led him to discoveries that have helped pave the way to advances in conducting polymer sensors, molecular memory devices, and flash welding. Huang applied interfacial polymerization to produce uniform nanofibers without the need for difficult-to-remove templates, and he demonstrated that these nanofibers could be used as sensors to detect many acids and bases at parts-per-million or lower concentrations.
Following his elucidation of the fiber formation mechanism, Huang developed a method to create a stable colloidal dispersion of the nanofibers suitable for processing to films or other forms, thereby resolving a major roadblock to the widespread use of these materials. He discovered that the nanofibers could undergo wavelength- and intensity-dependent cross-link photothermal chemistry to form nanofiber connections, asymmetric films, photopatterns, and polymer composites.
Huang is currently a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley.