Congrats to Liang Li, '23 Edward Prince Goldman Scholarship Recipient

August 02, 2023


Liang Li has received the 2023 Edward Prince Goldman Scholarship in Science from The New York Community Trust. The award is given annually to Natural Sciences graduate students selected by faculty, and includes a prize of $5,000 funded by the Sidney Prince Trust.

Liang Li is a rising fifth-year student in the Department of Chemistry under the joint supervision of Dr. Colin Nuckolls and Dr. Latha Venkataraman. Liang is a creative and highly talented young scientist who has led multiple projects relating to electronic transport in single-molecule devices. 

Liang’s most exciting work was published last summer in Nature Chemistry. In this work, Liang developed the concept of single-molecule based one-dimensional topological insulators and demonstrated that these wires could be highly conducting. Designing long and highly conducting molecular wires has been a challenge in the field of molecular electronics. Typically, molecules show an exponentially decreasing conductance with increasing length. However, in this work, Liang demonstrated that he could achieve a reversed conductance decay, i.e., an increasing conductance with increasing length. The key idea was to use molecules where he could stabilize terminal radical states. This idea has been investigated theoretically in the 1980s but no one had demonstrated that it could be achieved experimentally until Liang’s work.