Tan Kah Kee Young Scientist Award

 
Mathematics & physics
Ying Jiang, Professor of Physics, Peking University. Ying Jiang was born in July 1982 at Leshan, Sichuan province of China. Ying Jiang received his Bachelor’s degree from Beijing Normal University in 2003 and his PhD from Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2008. He has been a visiting scientist in Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH in Germany (2006-2007). After working as a Postdoctoral Associate in University of California, Irvine (2008-2010), he joined International Center for Quantum Materials, Peking University as a tenure-track assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2016 and full professor in 2018.

Ying Jiang’s research field is condensed matter physics and surface science. He is an expert in advanced scanning probe microscopy/spectroscopy and focused on the atomic-scale properties and ultrafast dynamics in single molecules and low-dimensional materials. In recent years, he has made major accomplishments in the high-resolution detection and manipulation of single quantum states. In particular, he has developed a new type of scanning probe technique, which is sensitive to the quantum state of nuclei in addition to that of electrons. Using this new technique, he unraveled the nuclear quantum effects of interfacial water with atomic precision, which may completely renovate our understanding of water and other light-elements materials. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers, including 2 in Science, 1 in Nature, and 6 in Nature Journals (Nat. Mat., Nat. Phys., Nat. Chem., etc). He has delivered over 40 invited talks (including 5 plenary talks) in a number of international conferences (APS, ACS, AVS, etc).

Ying Jiang was named a number of international and national academic honors and awards, for example, Outstanding Young Scientist (2012), Cheung Kong Young Scholar (2016), IOP-JPhys Emerging Leaders (2016), Distinguished Young Scholars of National Science Foundation of China (2017). His research works were selected as Top-ten Progresses of Science and Technology of China (2016) and Top-ten Progresses of Basic Research of China (2017).
 
Investigation and manipulation of full quantum effects of light element systems
 
For most of quantum materials, their properties are dictated by the quantum behavior of electrons, while the nuclei are only treated as classical particles. However, light nuclei like H+ (proton) can exhibit prominent quantum effects due to the small mass, in terms of tunneling and zero-point motion. The so-called nuclear quantum effects (NQEs) are responsible for many abnormal properties of light-element materials such as water. Unfortunately, the accurate and quantitative description of NQEs is very challenging due to the lack of atomic-scale experimental techniques. Ying Jiang and coworkers developed state-of-art scanning probe microscopy/spectroscopy, which allows the access to the quantum degree of freedom of protons with atomic precision. With such a new technique, they achieved submolecular-resolution imaging of water molecules and directly visualized the concerted proton tunneling in water clusters. Furthermore, they unraveled quantitatively, for the first time, the quantum component of single hydrogen bonds and proposed a general picture that the zero-point motion of protons weakens the weak hydrogen bonds but strengthens the relatively strong ones. Those findings may completely revamp our understanding of water and other light-element materials from a full quantum perspective. This work also provides new dimensions to manipulate the quantum properties and opens up a new frontier of condensed matter physics.
 
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