Yuting Luo receives 2024 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award

Yuting Luo, an assistant professor in materials science and engineering and Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, was named the 2024 recipient of the Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award.

This award has been given annually by the Advanced Photon Source (APS) user organization since 2004. It recognizes important scientific or technical accomplishments at (or beneficial to) the APS by a young investigator. Typically, the recipient is a senior graduate student or early career researcher. The APS is a Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility located at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

“Receiving the Rosalind Franklin Award from the APS fills me with deep honor and excitement. This recognition inspires me to further my commitment to bridging knowledge gaps and driving innovation, and I am genuinely humbled by this honor.” — Yuting Luo, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University

The award is named for Rosalind Franklin. The chemist played a critical, but largely unacknowledged, role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Luo specializes in designing and characterizing multi-scale materials for energy storage applications. Her research looks at the correlation among chemical, electrochemical and mechanical properties. She aims to understand their impact on functional performances.

A visiting research student at Argonne since 2019, much of Luo’s work was accomplished at the APS.

Specifically, her work focuses on particle morphologies and dimensions and their interactions with stress in intercalation chemistry — the reversible inclusion of ions into layered materials. Utilizing operando X-ray powder diffraction and operando energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction at the APS, Luo investigated intercalation-induced phase transformations in electrodes built with distinct crystallite geometries. Her findings highlight the pivotal role of particle geometry in mitigating degradation mechanisms and ensuring long-term battery performance.

The publication of Luo’s work in Nature Materials in 2022 generated substantial buzz around the world. It received extensive coverage on social media and tens of thousands of downloads within its first few months of publication.

“Receiving the Rosalind Franklin Award from the APS fills me with deep honor and excitement,” said Luo. “Through collaboration with APS, I’ve embarked on a transformative journey, exploring the intriguing convergence of fundamental science and technology. This recognition inspires me to further my commitment to bridging knowledge gaps and driving innovation and I am genuinely humbled by this honor.”

Those who nominated Luo said she is an incredibly talented scientist and an emerging leader in the field. Her creativity, problem solving skills, motivation and work ethic make her stand out among her peers. Additionally, Luo has mentored undergraduates and early career doctoral students.

With the innate ability to bridge electrochemistry and mechanics, diffraction and imaging and experiments and modeling, Luo’s research has had a transformative impact on the future of batteries.

Luo received her doctorate in chemistry at Texas A&M University and her Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Nankai University. 

She will give a talk as part of the APS and Center for Nanoscale Materials Users Meeting on Monday, May 6.

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