Professor Prashant Jain has been selected to receive the 2021 Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award.
Every two years the North Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society presents the prestigious Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award to an exceptional younger chemist. It serves to commemorate the technical and industrial achievements of Leo Hendrik Baekeland and to encourage younger chemists to emulate his example.
Jain, Alumni Research Scholar and Professor of Chemistry at Illinois, joins a group of Illinois chemistry researchers who are former Baekeland recipients, including Willis H. Flygare, Eric N. Jacobsen, John F. Hartwig, and John Rogers.
The award is given in recognition of accomplishments in pure or applied chemistry to a US-based chemist as characterized by the initiative, creativeness, leadership, and perseverance of the individual (indicated by published or unpublished evidence) and who will be under the age of 40 as of January 1 of the award year.
The Baekeland Medal is presented to the honoree at a Section-wide banquet and research symposium held in December of the award year. The award consists of a gold medal and a $5,000 honorarium.
Jain is also a Materials Research Lab professor and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology professor and affiliated with the Department of Physics and IQUIST.
Jain's research seeks control and harness light as a source of energy and as a means to control the attributes and functions of advanced materials. His lab focuses their research on three aspects of the light-matter interface using spectroscopy, microscopy, and theory:
- Employing the rich interplay between visible light and metal catalysts for selective formation of energy-dense chemical bonds.
- Imaging with nanoscale spatial resolution chemical reactions on surfaces or nanoparticles and uncovering their mechanistic pathways.
- Designing quantum materials and coaxing them into exhibiting non-natural optical or optoelectronic phenomena.