Tribute To A Chinese Rare Earth Master: Su Shi

2018-09-27 07:19 Source: Xinhuanet

——Su Hao, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Su Shi was engaged in the research of rare earth chemistry and physics for a very long time. He made outstanding contributions to the exploration of rare earth separation and property change law and the research and application of rare earth materials. He was one of the pioneers of rare earth research in China. On February 17, 2017, Su Shi died of illness in Guangzhou at the age of 88.

Su Shi once said that he had two loves in his life, one met his wife Ren Yufang, and he kept his life from now on; the other was engaged in research work on rare earths, and he loved his life forever.

Su Shi’s childhood was hard and he experienced a life of vain. Therefore, from an early age, he realized that he should work hard and cherish the hard-won learning opportunities.

In 1948, Su Shi chose to apply for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Sun Yat-sen University, and chose a wide range of chemical fields. He went to Peking University and Tsinghua University to continue his studies. After graduating from college in 1952, Su Shi actively responded to the call of the state to support the construction of heavy industry in Northeast China. Finally, he was assigned to the Institute of Applied Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to work on rare earth research.

The construction of industry is inseparable from oil. Su Shi first received the task of extracting oil from coal. In the process, it is necessary to separate the monsium (one of the main minerals of rare earth metal ore, often containing cerium, zirconium, etc.) as synthetic oil. Catalyst. Separation of rare earth metals allowed Su Shi to indulge in it and began to shift from petroleum to rare earth research.Rare earth elements containing 17 different properties and uses in rare earths, in order to better play the role of various rare earth elements, Su Shi and the team need to solve the problem of how to effectively separate them.

In 1958, Su Shi studied and integrated separation methods such as fractional precipitation, fractional crystallization, redox and other methods to obtain all single pure rare earths except for strontium (Pm) and strontium (Sc) among 17 elements of rare earths; he also proposed separation of rare earths.

In the 21st century, Su Shi devoted himself to the exploration of new rare earth photovoltaic materials, and made important progress in the development of rare earth luminescent materials in the fields of environmentally friendly semiconductor light sources, flat panel displays, high energy ray detection and upconversion. At the age of eighty, he was full of blood in the study of rare earths, spare no effort.

Su Shi knew that the progress of science is inseparable from inheritance and development. Therefore, he devoted great efforts to the cultivation of talents. He often said that young people must not only be “green out of blue, but also better than the teacher.” Su Shi trained nearly 100 masters, doctors and postdocs, many of whom have become the backbone of domestic rare earth research.

This work is the original “Science of China Science and Technology Frontiers”,
Author: Lee [Editor: Zhong Yanping]

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