PNNL chemist elected fellow for science work

RICHLAND -- Jun Li, a quantum chemist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, has been elected a 2010 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The honor is given for exceptional efforts to advance science and apply it to real-world problems.

Li was elected into AAAS's chemistry section and makes the seventh PNNL researcher to be named a 2010 AAAS fellow.

Li splits his time between the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory on PNNL's campus and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Li focuses much of his research on lanthanides and actinides, the heavy elements with the atomic numbers 57 to 71 and 89 to 103 on the bottom of the periodic table. To understand compounds made of these and other elements, he develops computational models and considers the effects of relativistic quantum mechanics.

His research can be used to advance methods that produce clean energy and remove pollution from the environment.