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Agilent Presents Solutions Innovation Research Awards to Cornell and Indiana University Researchers

Professors Richard Robinson and Xingchen Ye recognized for their pioneering work in advanced materials research

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced two Solutions Innovation Research Awards (SIRA) presented to Professors Richard Robinson of Cornell University and Xingchen Ye of Indiana University. These separate awards recognize their outstanding contributions to advanced materials research.

Electrocatalysis plays a pivotal role in advancing clean energy systems. Enhancing the efficiency of chemical reactions at electrode surfaces can accelerate the transition to sustainable energy sources. High-entropy nanoparticles—materials that incorporate many different types of atoms into one lattice—offer a fresh perspective in electrocatalysis. Their complexity, stability, and tunability make them promising candidates for efficient and sustainable energy conversion. These materials can be readily incorporated into fuel cells and other energy systems.

Professor Richard Robinson specializes in colloidal nanoparticle synthesis and applies nanosynthetic design concepts to control nanomaterials’ composition, shape, size, and surface to tailor their properties. As part of his award, Professor Robinson will receive a one-year loan of an Agilent Cary 630 FTIR system, which will aid his groups’ efforts to characterize the structures of novel high-entropy nanomaterials.

Professor Xingchen Ye is an expert in the synthesis and analysis of nanomaterials for fuel-cell and semiconductor applications. He will seek to establish composition-dependent optical benchmarks for various nanoparticle (NP) compositions. As part of his award, Professor Ye will receive a one-year loan of an Agilent Cary 5000 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer, which will be used to perform extinction spectroscopy analysis of NP samples.

“By using colloidal nanosynthetic chemistry, we’re able to tinker with the building blocks of materials at the atomic and molecular scale. High entropy materials expand our toolkit to alter nanoparticle properties beyond the conventional knobs we use. By scrambling atoms randomly, we could unlock countless unknown arrangements, leading to unknown properties. This is an exciting new frontier and opens up new possibilities for efficient fuel cells, thermoelectrics, and other energy applications,” said Professor Robinson. “We’re really very grateful for this award from Agilent; it’s going to be a huge boost to our research.”

“We appreciate this recognition from Agilent,” said Professor Ye. “Our objective is to reveal emerging and distinctive properties in nanomaterials, enhancing their suitability for fuel-cell and semiconductor applications. This award will significantly support and propel our research forward.”

Geoff Winkett, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Molecular Spectroscopy Division, spoke about the importance of these awards. “The research being carried out by Professor Robinson and Professor Ye has the potential to promote more sustainable energy storage, which will be essential for driving technological advancements and reshaping industries. Agilent proudly supports this transformative journey towards discovering advanced materials and battery technologies that will lay the foundation for a sustainable and resilient future.”

A leading provider of spectroscopy solutions for materials analysis, Agilent is committed to promoting university research through a portfolio of products and technical expertise that enable researchers to drive their work forward. The Solutions Innovation Research Award (SIRA) program, under the guidance of Dr. Chong Wing Yung, Associate Director of University Relations and External Research at Agilent, is designed to stimulate the most innovative and impactful use of Agilent products to help solve pressing scientific problems in academia. For more information about the Agilent Solutions Innovation Research Award (SIRA) visit

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global leader in analytical and clinical laboratory technologies, delivering insights and innovation that help our customers bring great science to life. Agilent’s full range of solutions includes instruments, software, services, and expertise that provide trusted answers to our customers' most challenging questions. The company generated revenue of $6.83 billion in fiscal 2023 and employs approximately 18,000 people worldwide. Information about Agilent is available at To receive the latest Agilent news, please subscribe to the Agilent Newsroom. Follow Agilent on LinkedIn and Facebook.


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