It is my pleasure to write a letter of recommendation for Dr. Yuan Fang. I highly recommend her for your FRQNT postdoctoral research scholarship.
I am Professor of Chemistry at KU Leuven in Belgium. My research expertise is nanochemistry on surfaces and in particular the study of molecular self-assembly phenomena. I’m the recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant and associate editor of the RSC journal Chemical Communications.
I got to know Yuan a couple of years ago, when she contacted me to do a research internship in my group, while studying towards her MSc degree under Prof. Louis Cuccia at Concordia University, who recommended her. Yuan spent three months in my group and very much impressed me and my other co-workers so I have offered her to return to my group as a PhD student which she did in the fall of 2013.
It is a decision I don’t regret. Yuan stands out by her enormous energy. She is exceptionally hard working and highly self-motivated. She puts in many long hours and very soon, she collected a significant amount of important data. I asked her to work on the topic of 2D chirality. Those data finally led to a publication in Nature Chemistry (with Yuan as the first author) (Nature Chemistry 2016, 8, 711). She collected, analyzed the data, and played a key role in the data interpretation and manuscript preparation. This work provided us comprehensive knowledge of the chiral assembly process with predictive accuracy on the generation of homochiral networks with a certain handedness. The importance of this discovery and study extends beyond “chirality at surfaces”, and is relevant for understanding and controlling self-assembly processes in general. A follow-up work (with Yuan as the first author) was also published recently (J. Phys. Chem. C. 2018, 122, 15, 8228).
Yuan is dynamic and comes up with her own ideas. In addition to the publication in Nature Chemistry, her broad scientific interests and expertise allowed her to work on different other aspects of 2D chirality. She also investigated stimulus responsive systems, shear flow, and aspects of tip-induced dynamics at the liquid-solid interface. Some manuscripts are already published (1) Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 4766 featured on the journal’s cover pages; (2) ACS Nano 2015, 9, 11608; (3) Nanoscale 2015, 7, 5344; (4) Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 1680. In addition, several other manuscripts are in progress featuring Yuan Fang as first author.
During her PhD, she started a collaboration with Prof. Dmitrii Perepichka at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) as part of Flanders – Québec joint research project. This collaboration on covalent organic frameworks resulted in a joint paper (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 2421).


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