Halasyamani Wins Roy-Somiya Award

Halasyamani Wins Roy-Somiya Award
Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Solvothermal Research

HalasyamaniShiv Halasyamani, professor of chemistry at the University of Houston, is the 2014 recipient of the Roy-Somiya Award from the International Solvothermal and Hydrothermal Association (ISHA).

The international award, given every two years, honors the work of a scientist under the age of 45. In announcing Halasyamani’s selection, ISHA Council Vice President Richard Riman stated that Halasyamani’s “career is on a rapidly moving trajectory that is destined to forge new boundaries in the field of solvothermal research.”

David Hoffman, the chair of UH’s Department of Chemistry, commented, "The Roy-Somiya Award is a great accolade for Shiv. It shows that his research is recognized and appreciated internationally by experts in his field."

Halasyamani will present his latest research at an invited lecture and awards ceremony during the ISHA Conference in Bordeaux, France. His presentation will address “Hydrothermal Synthesis of Functional Inorganic Materials.”

Some of the Halasyamani Group’s research focuses on the hydrothermal and solvothermal synthesis of new functional inorganic materials. The functionalities of interest include non-linear optical and multi-ferroic behavior.

For both functionalities, new materials are necessary to fully understand the respective physical phenomena.

Non-linear optical (NLO) materials are used in laser technologies to generate wavelengths for which there are no common laser sources. Technologies for the detection of explosives and narcotics, for example, use terahertz devices, for which there are no readily available laser sources.

With multi-ferroic materials, the idea is that cross coupling could occur – an electric polarization induced by a magnetic field and/or magnetization induced by an electric field. This would allow, in principle, data to be stored electrically as well as magnetically.

Two Noteworthy Discoveries from the Halasyamani Group:

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 17684-17685: The group discovered a mild solvothermal method for the pure phase synthesis of the multi-ferroic family BaMF4 (M = Mg, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn). Unlike previous reports, the method does not use poisonous HF or environmentally unfriendly CF4.

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 12422-12425: Also through hydrothermal methods, the group discovered a new polar NLO iodate – BiO(IO3). Polar materials are of interest for their use in computer memories, detectors and sensors. BiO(IO3) represents a novel polar material that exhibits an Aurivillius-type (Bi2O2)2+ layer and a large NLO response.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics