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K-State Today

April 5, 2022

K-State chemist to serve as Fulbright U.S. scholar in Hungary

Submitted by Jennifer Tidball

Viktor Chikan, Kansas State University associate professor of chemistry, has been selected as a 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. scholar and will conduct research in Hungary for four months. 

Chikan is receiving the John von Neumann Distinguished Award in STEM, which supports scholars conducting cutting-edge research in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.

He will spend the summers of 2022 and 2023 in Szeged, Hungary, at the Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source, or ELI-ALPS, which is a large-scale high-power laser research facility. Chikan will develop a methodology that enables researchers across the world to further explore the effects of intense terahertz electric fields.  

"My interest is to develop a new experimental methodology that investigates the impact of large electric fields on photoinduced chemical reactions," Chikan said. "The methodology will allow us to explore questions related to the chemical evolution processes that take place on charged surfaces of interstellar dusts. This methodology will be deployed at ELI-ALPS and will provide potential access to users from all over the world, including researchers from Kansas State University." 

The Fulbright funding will enable Chikan to expand his research in ultrafast science, which will benefit his K-State research team as well. He will collaborate with the K-State James R. Macdonald Laboratory and his research previously has been funded by the National Science Foundation. 

At K-State, Chikan and his research team utilize his experimental physical chemistry skill set to explore questions related to drug delivery, cancer research and material science. He came to K-State in 2005 and started working on tiny particles called quantum dots to investigate how to change their properties through chemical doping. Along with Ryan Rafferty, associate professor of chemistry, Chikan later developed a drug delivery methodology utilizing intense magnetic pulses to enhance drug delivery efficiencies to cancer cells. The research has a patent pending. 

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State and awards approximately 8,000 fellowships every year. Fulbright scholar awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. Alumni include 61 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts in academia and many other fields across the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

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