Richard Kaner, who is the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Professor of Materials Innovation, has been elected a 2020 fellow of the American Physical Society, a nonprofit organization that advances the knowledge of physics and represents more than 55,000 members worldwide, including physicists in universities, national laboratories and industry.
The society selected 163 fellows in late September and praised Kaner for “outstanding contributions to the physics, chemistry, and materials science of nanostructured conducting polymers, superhard metals, and new forms of carbon including superconducting fullerides, carbon nanoscrolls, and graphene.” Kaner is a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of materials science and engineering, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.
Kaner and his research team have designed a series of remarkable devices. One device creates electricity from falling snow. Kaner and UCLA researcher Maher El-Kady, call the device a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or snow TENG, and reported this first-of-its-kind device June, 2019 in the journal Nano Energy. His research team has also produced a separation membrane that separates oil from water and cleans up the debris left by oil fracking. Kaner, El-Kady and colleagues designed a device in 2017 that can use solar energy to inexpensively and efficiently create and store energy, which could be used to power electronic devices, and to create hydrogen fuel for eco-friendly cars.
Kaner is among the world’s most influential and highly cited scientific researchers. He has also been selected as the recipient of the American Institute of Chemists 2019 Chemical Pioneer Award, which honors chemists and chemical engineers who have made outstanding contributions that advance the science of chemistry or greatly impact the chemical profession.