2016 Science Prize

Dr. Yun Liu

National Institute of Standards and Technology & University of Delaware

Recipient of the 2016 Science Prize of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) with the citation “For the discovery of dynamic cluster ordering in complex colloidal systems using neutron scattering” The prize and $2500 honorarium will be awarded at the 2016 ACNS in Long Beach, CA, July 10-14, 2016 (http://www.mrs.org/acns-2016/).

Colloidal systems are found throughout nature and pervade our daily lives. They are used in foods, paints, personal-care products, biological systems such as blood or cellular components, and modern composite materials. The physics of these systems is typically dominated by very large surface areas, which amplify the importance of surface forces and thermal fluctuations. In the concentrated systems typical of most real-world applications, the underlying interactions usually exhibit many-body effects. Moreover, the geometry of the constituent “particles” can differ markedly from that of the uniform spheres that are usually invoked to model these systems. Dr. Yun Liu has performed ground-breaking research that greatly expands our understanding of colloidal systems well beyond those that can be described by simple models to complex fluids that are far more representative of those found in nature or used in industrial processes. In the process, he discovered dynamic clusters in concentrated protein solutions and related these to previously unexplained changes in viscosity that have profound implications for the production, purification, and administration of biopharmaceutical formulations.

Dr. Liu received his PhD in 2005 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Delaware in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering since 2014, where he also holds an affiliated Research Professorship in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Liu is currently a Staff Scientist in the SANS/uSANS
team, NIST Center for Neutron Research.

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