第8回 京都大学理学研究科化学専攻 特定研究員 WANG Fenglong 先生
今回ご紹介するのは、「革新的触媒を目指したPCP/ナノ合金複合体の開発」のご担当で”元素間融合”により革新的な材料を開発するというテーマにチャレンジされている京都大学理学研究科 特定研究員のWANG Fenglong先生です。（担当コーディネータの小林がインタビューしました。）
CD：Please introduce yourself about your carrier at first.
Wang 先生：Before I came to Japan, I finished my PhD in chemical engineering in University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia. For my PhD studies, I worked on photocatalysis using TiO2-based materials for environmental remediation and solar-to-chemical energy conversion. During my PhD, I visited Max Plank Institute for Polymer Research in Germany for 5 months to study the dynamics of the photo-excited charge carriers using ultrafast techniques. Prior to my PhD, I pursued my master and bachelor in School of Materials Science and Engineering at Shandong University, China. Currently, I am working on the preparation of nano alloy catalysts together with Dr. Kusada in Prof. Kitagawa’s group. We expect the catalysts to exhibit multiple applications including reducing the emissions from automobiles and boosting the energy conversion catalytic process.
CD：Are there any differences in scientific approach or research environment in China, Australia, Germany and Japan ?
Wang 先生：In my opinion, the research systems in Japan and Germany are quite similar. In both countries, the individual group owns a variety of the facilities, including the synthesis set-ups, characterization tools such as XRD, TEM, XPS,NMR and also the property testing instruments. I think this is quite convenient for the group members and we can always test our samples once they are ready. Besides, the group members can be well trained on these facilities and they also master the skills on how to maintain them well, which I think will have profound influence on the students for a long term. In both China and Australia, these big facilities are hosted in a so-called “Analytical Center”, where the facilities are maintained by the professional staffs. The students first get training on how to use them and then they can operate the instrument independently. The good point is that when the students meet some problems, they can always turn to the professional staff for advice very quickly. Besides, since the analytical center is run by the university, you can always find the facility you want. But, I think the weak point might be that you have to wait for a while until you get a booking session, which sometimes might delay your research progress.
Besides, I find that there are more research discussions in both Japan and Germany compared to China or Australia, which I think provides good opportunity for the group members to exchange ideas. It is always good to listen to others’ thoughts or suggestions.
Analyzing the structure of the synthesized catalysts using powder X-Ray diffraction (XRD)
CD：And now, you work with Prof. Kitagawa. How do you think of possibility of inter-element fusion?
Wang 先生：It is a good question. To make alloys at nano-scale with metals which are immiscible in bulk state is really a challenging task. However, considering the pioneering work done by Prof. Dr. Kusada on Pd-Ru and Ag-Rh systems, I think this route is feasible to make new catalysts. I believe this project is quite promising and now there are several members in the group working progressively on this challenging but meaningful topic.
CD：By the way, how do you spend your holidays? If you have any hobbies, please let us know.
Wang 先生：Normally, I would like to travel around to experience the local culture if I have holidays. In Japan, I really enjoy visiting the shrines and temples especially the old ones. The architecture is fantastic and the history is amazing. Besides, the Japanese style gardens are really beautiful as well. In addition, I think it helped me relax myself in the historical places. Once I visited Daigo-ji temple, it was so quiet and I really felt peaceful inside. Oh, I forget to mention about Nara, another old city in Japan. The park is so big and the deer there are so friendly. I enjoyed interacting with them.
In Nara park playing with the deer.
CD：Please let us know what your goal is as a researcher in future.
Wang 先生：During my PhD studies, I learned the reactor design, materials synthesis and also activity test. It was focused more on the application. However, in Kyoto University, I am lucky to join Prof. Kitagawa’s group and here I am learning both the fundamental science and the technical skills on the materials synthesis/characterization/application. I think this will be quite helpful for my future careers, since I need to strengthen my understandings on the prepared catalysts. The knowledge I obtained in Prof. Kitagawa’s group will guide me for the rational design of materials in the future.
As you might know, the air pollution in China is a big problem and it threats the people’s health definitely. How to design efficient catalysts to reduce the toxic gas emissions from automobiles and factories is a big challenge. And I hope I can make some contributions in solving this problem.
So, in my goal, I hope I can be a professor leading a group focusing on the preparation of catalyst for some specific applications and also at the meantime, I can get some insights in catalysts properties and catalytic process.