PULLMAN, Wash. — Lai-Sheng Wang, physics professor at Washington State University Tri-Cities and affiliate senior chief scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  He was recognized “for his outstanding and innovative contributions to the study of atomic clusters and his pioneering work on multiply charged anions.”  Election to APS Fellowship is limited to only one half of one percent of the total membership.

Wang’s recent work on atomic clusters has led to the discovery of aromaticity in metal molecules and the discovery of the first penta-atomic planar carbon molecules. His observations of unexpected properties of minute atomic clusters of gold were featured in an issue of Science magazine earlier this year.  Other ongoing work in his group has opened a new field of physical chemistry related to solution phase species and multiply charged anions.  According to Wang, his work may have applications in design of new materials, chemical catalysis and understanding the structures of biomolecules.

Articles on his work have been featured in Nature, Science, Physical Review Letters, Nano Materials, Nano Letters, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Chemical and Chemical Engineering News and Science News.  He receives funding for his work from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Raised in China, Wang earned his bachelor degree in chemistry at Wuhan University in 1982, and his doctorate at University of California, Berkeley, in 1989.  Wang completed a postdoctoral appointment at Rice University in Houston before joining the physics faculty at WSU Tri-Cities in 1993.  He holds a joint position between WSU and the W. R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL, and conducts his research at Wiley EMSL.  He was named the WSU Westinghouse Distinguished Professor in Materials Science and Engineering and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 1997.  He received a National Science Foundation Career Award in 1996 and a National Science Foundation Creativity Award in 2001.