Lai-Sheng Wang

Jesse H. and Louisa D. Sharpe Metcalf Professor of Chemistry

Research Area

Contact Info

GeoChem 249B401-863-3389EmailResearchers@Brown ProfileWang Lab Webpage

Research Statement

Chemistry is the science of matter and its transformation. In our laboratory, we create new forms of matter, called nanoclusters, and study their structures and properties one atom at a time. Clusters are aggregates of atoms that can be formed from any metal or nonmetal elements in either pure or mixed forms. We produce clusters of varying size and composition and study their size-dependent structural and electronic properties using photoelectron spectroscopy and high-resolution photoelectron imaging, as well as computational chemistry. Properties of clusters depend on their size and shape, forming the foundation of nanoscience. Nanoclusters can be used as well-defined molecular models to answer mechanistic questions in catalysis. Highly stable clusters, such as the fullerenes (carbon clusters), can form building blocks for cluster-assembled nanomaterials. Clusters also provide an important medium to discover new molecules with interesting structures and chemical bonds. Current research in the Wang Lab includes boron and doped boron clusters, gold and transitional metal clusters, and clusters of actinide-containing species. We are also exploring experimental methods to synthesize cluster-based and cluster-inspired nanostructures and nanomaterials.

Another major research interest in the Wang Lab concerns probing solution chemistry in the gas phase. Anions from solutions are transported into a high vacuum environment using electrospray ionization and cryogenically cooled in an ion trap before being probed by photodetachment spectroscopy and high-resolution photoelectron imaging. We are especially interested in multiply-charged anions, solvated anions, and anions which possess diffused electronic excited states, i.e., dipole-, quadrupole- and polarization-bound states. We are also interested in inorganic metal complexes, redox species, biologically-relevant molecules, and the solvation and solvent stabilization of complex anions.

Areas of Interest

  • Experimental Physical Chemistry
  • Nanoclusters and Nanomaterials
  • Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Photoelectron Imaging
  • Electrospray Ionization and Cryogenic Ion Traps
  • Boron Clusters and Transition Metal Clusters
  • Multiply-Charged Anions and Dipole-Bound States

Selected Publications

  •  “2D B38 and B37 Clusters with A Double-Hexagonal Vacancy: Molecular Motifs for Borophenes” (Q. Chen, W. J. Tian, Lin-Yan Feng, H. G. Lu, Yue-Wen Mu, H. J. Zhai, S. D. Li, and L. S. Wang), Nanoscale 9, 4550-4557 (2017).  DOI: 10.1039/C7NR00641A
  • “Conformation-Selective Resonant Photoelectron Imaging from Dipole-Bound States of Cold 3-Hydroxyphenoxide” (G. Z. Zhu, D. H. Huang, and L. S. Wang), J. Chem. Phys. 147, 013910 (11 pages) (2017).
  •  “Probing the Structures of Neutral B11 and B12 Using High Resolution Photoelectron Imaging of B11 and B12” (J. Czekner, L. F. Cheung, and L. S. Wang), J. Phys. Chem. C 121, 10752-10759 (2017).
  • “PrB7: A Praseodymium-Doped Boron Cluster with a Pr(II) Center Coordinated by a Doubly Aromatic Planar h7-B73− Ligand” (T. T. Chen, Wan-Lu Li, T. Jian, X. Chen, J. Li, and L. S. Wang), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 56, 6916-6920 (2017).
  • “Observation of Excited Quadrupole-Bound States in Cold Anions” (G. Z. Zhu, Y. Liu, and L. S. Wang), Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 023002 (2017). 
  • “Bismuth-Boron Multiple Bonding in BiB2O and Bi2B” (T. Jian, L. F. Cheung, T. T. Chen, and L. S. Wang), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 56, 9551-9555 (2017).  Angew. Chem. 129, 9679-9683 (2017). 
  •  “From Planar Boron Clusters to Borophenes and Metalloborophenes” (W. L. Li, X. Chen, T. Jian, T. T. Chen, J. Li, and L. S. Wang), Nat. Rev. Chem. 1, 0071 (9 pages) (2017).
  •  “Nb2©Au6: A Molecular Wheel with a Short NbNb Triple Bond Coordinated by an Au6 Ring and Reinforced by s Aromaticity” (T. Jian, L. F. Cheung, J. Czekner, T. T. Chen, G. V. Lopez, W. L. Li, and L. S. Wang ), Chem. Sci. 8, 7528-7536. DOI: 10.1039/c7sc02881d.
  •  “High-Resolution Photoelectron Imaging of Cryogenically-Cooled C59N and (C59N)22– Azafullerene Anions” (G. Z. Zhu, Y. Hashikawa, Y. Liu, Q. F. Zhang, L. F. Cheung, Y. Murata, and L. S. Wang), J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 8, 6220-6225 (2017).

Awards

  • Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy Dynamics, American Physical Society (2014)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007)
  • Humboldt Senior Research Award (2006)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2005)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2003)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1997)