Jiyong Zhao, a physicist with the X-ray Science Division (XSD) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, is the 2021 recipient of the Gopal K. Shenoy Excellence in Beamline Science award.
The annual award is given to a beamline scientist at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Argonne. It is presented by the APS Users Organization and is intended to recognize scientists who make significant contributions to research or instrument development and promote that work to the user community.
“It has been an honorable experience to work with so many excellent scientists and engineers, including Dr. Gopal Shenoy himself.” — Jiyong Zhao, physicist, Argonne National Laboratory
Zhao was nominated for the award by several professors around the world who frequently conduct their own experiments at the APS, for his work in several X-ray techniques, primarily applications of nuclear resonant scattering, at Sector 3 of the APS. His contributions have led to many important discoveries in the fields of material science and geophysical science, including deep-Earth research. He has contributed to insights into iron alloys at the planet’s core and the atomic behavior of the minerals that make up the Earth’s mantle.
“It is my great pleasure and privilege to work at the APS, a great synchrotron radiation facility,” Zhao said. “The award basically recognizes a successful research program, namely nuclear resonant scattering at the APS, and I am just lucky to be one of the talented group members at Sector 3 in the last two decades. I look forward to an upgraded APS in the near future.”
The APS Upgrade will provide a finer X-ray beam, allowing for the study of smaller samples under pressure at Sector 3. This will aid in geophysical research, such as experiments that use pressure to simulate the conditions of the Earth’s core and mantle, as well as the study of nanomaterials.
In nominating Zhao, Jung-Fu Lin, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, said they had worked together for 18 years, and in that time, Zhao and his colleagues built the world’s leading nuclear resonant X-ray scattering programs for research using high pressures and temperatures at Sector 3 of the APS. Lin particularly pointed to the high-pressure research programs, noting that they have led to many important discoveries in deep-Earth research.
Lin also praised Zhao for his work to mentor early-career scientists and students, noting that many of the students and postdoctoral researchers working with him on spin transition and iron alloy research since the early 2000s have gone on to hold academic positions.
Zhao has worked at the APS since 1999, first as an assistant physicist and his current position as a physicist. He graduated in 1986 from Nankai University in China and received his Ph.D. from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Japan. He has served as an assistant scientist at the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory in the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; a visiting scientist at Warwick University and Daresbury National Laboratory in the UK; a postdoctoral research fellow at KEK and a postdoctoral research scientist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
“Jiyong has continually worked on expanding the range of scientific problems that can be addressed using nuclear resonant scattering, from magnetic systems in condensed matter physics to the structure minerals under pressure in geophysics,” said X-ray Science Division Director Jonathan Lang.
The award is named for the late Argonne Distinguished Fellow Gopal K. Shenoy, one of the key figures in the creation of the APS.
“It has been an honorable experience to work with so many excellent scientists and engineers, including Dr. Gopal Shenoy himself,” Zhao said.
About the Advanced Photon Source
The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.
This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’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, visit https://energy.gov/science.