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Ames Laboratory postdoc receives ACS Young Investigator Award

Contacts:                                                                                                                   For Release: April 12, 2019
Matt Kramer, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, (515) 294-0276
Laura Millsaps, Ames Laboratory Communications, (515) 294-3474

Georgiy Akopov, a postdoctoral research associate at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, has won a Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry.

As a recipient, Akopov will present his research, “Rediscovering the Crystal Chemistry of Higher Borides” at the DIC Young Investigator Symposium, held at the Fall ACS Meeting in San Diego, Calif., in August 2019. The symposium honors talented young inorganic chemists, and provides a high-profile forum for them to present their research results. The award also includes a $1000 honorarium and a commemorative plaque.

Akopov’s Ph.D. study centers upon metal borides, a class of materials with superhard properties that rival the mechanical properties of diamond without some of its drawbacks. They make cost-effective and easy-to-synthesize materials for applications in any industry requiring machining or drilling.

“Almost all items used in everyday life are a result of the processing industry, as seen in the machining of modern metals to form appliances and car parts, precision machining parts for phones and computers, and drills for extracting oil to be used to power cars and provide reagents for plastics and chemical synthesis. Our new tools need to be harder and stronger, and boride crystallography plays a dominant role in the search for novel superhard materials,” said Akopov.

Georgiy Akopov received his B.A. in Chemistry at Rutgers University in 2014, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. He is currently conducting postdoctoral research in non-centrosymmetric compounds of ternary and quaternary tetrel-pnictides of third row transition and rare-earth metals with Kirill Kovnir, a scientist at Ames Laboratory and associate professor of chemistry at Iowa State University. Akopov was nominated for the Young Investigator Award by Richard B. Kaner, a Faculty Distinguished Professor in the College of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.

“We are extremely excited for Georgiy,” said Matt Kramer, director of Ames Laboratory’s Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering. “This award is well deserved, and recognizes the need to understand well-controlled synthesis, and that it has real impact in our materials world.”

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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