Obituary: Gaoquan Shi: 1963–2018

Xun Wang

Received 4th April 2018 , Accepted 4th April 2018

First published on 17th April 2018

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It is with great sorrow that we announce that Prof. Gaoquan Shi passed away in Beijing on Thursday, March 1, 2018, bringing to an end his journey as a pilgrim on the road exploring the material science of chemically modified graphene. As a supervisor and mentor, with an incisive view on science issues and patience for students and protégés, he encouraged persistently many of the younger generation exploring the terra incognita; as a colleague and collaborator, he was humorous, gracious and amiable; as an Associate Editor of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, he devoted himself to the role of arbiter, finding promising research from a cascade of manuscripts.

Born in September, 1963, in Jiangsu, China, he received his PhD degree from Nanjing University in 1992 and was promoted to professor in 1995 (at that time his research interest concerned the fabrication and morphology control of conductive polymers). After 2000, he became a full professor at Tsinghua University and began on his path in the research of chemically modified graphene from 2007. Prof. Gaoquan Shi published over 300 papers and earned over 23[thin space (1/6-em)]000 citations. Within them over 90 papers were published in Royal Society of Chemistry journals, from 1994 to 2018, spanning his entire research career.

Gaoquan was neither the first to prepare chemically modified graphene nor the first to make use of the material. The seminal works he presented to the graphene community, which were his best papers, continued work initiated by Hofmann, Boehm and Kohlschütter, but his work made huge advances in the field. Gaoquan held the view that graphene could be identified as a two-dimensional conductive polymer; this opinion led to the manifestation of the research paradigm normally employed in conductive polymers, resulting in the fabrication of useful graphene-based materials.

Research on chemically modified graphene is still in its infancy. Gaoquan threw himself into the field and strived to understand the whys and wherefores of the field: this infectious enthusiasm made us unwilling to accept mediocrity, and encouraged us to solve important issues in material science.

Prof. Gaoquan Shi was also a great educator, implementing his unique pedagogy to imbue students with a fascination for material science. During class, his eloquence and passion provided a vivid display of his knowledge and shrewd ideas. Scientific writing, the most important part of the expression of an original idea, was elaborated in a string of examples based on his profuse experiences as author, reviewer and editor to improve the writing skills of future scientists.

The chemically modified graphene community will miss its creator and innovator.

Prof. Xun Wang

Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University

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