The research program of Dr. He's group focuses on generating and charactering very small chemical entities composed of limited numbers of atoms. These chemical entities are termed as atomic clusters or molecular clusters depending on the nature of chemical bonding in the systems. The properties of clusters are strongly dependent on the numbers of atoms in the systems, which are well recognized as "each atom counts" in the community of cluster sciences. By studying how and why each atom counts, one can provide reliable and fundamental basis with a bottom up strategy to solve complex scientific problems in practical applications.
Transformation of very stable molecules including methane, dinitrogen, carbon monoxide, and so on at low temperature or even room temperature is of great importance in terms of energy conservation and environmental protection. The research target of Dr. He's group is to find the mechanisms of low temperature activation and conversion of very stable molecules by a systematic study of the elementary reactions between molecules and cluster species under isolated, controlled, and well reproducible conditions with home-made instruments. These mechanisms can be fundamental basis with which to develop new catalytic materials or strategies in practice.