Contact Us


Department of Chemistry
Phone: (208)885-6552
Fax: (208)885-6173
Renfrew Hall
804 Rayburn, Rm 116

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr, MS 2343
Moscow, ID 83844-2343

Dr. Chien M. Wai

Chien M. Wai, Ph.D.

Office: Renfrew Hall 101A
Phone: 208-885-6787
Email: cwai@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: Department of Chemistry

Moscow, ID 83844-2343

University of Idaho

With UI Since 1969

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Supercritical fluid extraction of metals and radionuclides, green techniques for nuclear waste management, nanomaterials synthesis and catalysis, supercritical fluid reactions and nanoparticles deposition
  • Biography
    Chien Wai received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 1967 under the guidance of Professor F. Sherwood Rowland.  After two years of post-doctoral study at UCLA, he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Idaho in 1969.  He has been teaching and doing research at the University of Idaho for 40 years.  In the past four decades, Wai has mentored 40 Ph.D. students and 30 M.S. students in chemistry at the University of Idaho.  He has also published 270 research papers and received 15 U.S. patents.
  • Selected Publications
    • 1. Pan, Horng-bin; Wai, Chien M.  "One-step synthesis of size-tunable rhodium nanoparticles on carbon nanotubes: A study of particle size effect on hydrogenation of xylene", J. Phys. Chem. C. 2010, 114, 11364-11369.
    • 2. Wang, J.S.; Sementana, A. B.; Boeckl, J. J.; Brown, G. J.; Wai, C. M.  "Deposition of ordered arrays of metal sulfide nanoparticles in nanostructures using supercritical fluid carbon dioxide", Langmuir 2010, 26, 1117-1123.
    • 3. Simizu, K.; Wang, J. S.; Wai, C. M.  "Application of green chemistry techniques to perpare electrocatalysts for direct methanol fuel cells", J. Phy. Chem. A. 2010, 114, 3956-3961.
    • 4. Wang, J.S.; Sheaff, C. N.; Yoon, B.; Addleman, S.; Wai, C. M.  "Extraction of uranium from aqueous solutions by using ionic liquid and supercritical carbon dioxide in conjunction", Chem. Euro. J. 2009, 15, 4458-4463.
    • 5. Liao, Wensheng; Pan, Horng-bin; Liu, Hsin-wang, Chen, Hsing-jung; Wai, Chien M.  "Kinetic study of hydrodechlorination of chlorobiphenyl with polymer-stabilized palladium nanoparticles in supercritical carbon dioxide", J. Phys. Chem. A 2009, 113, 9772-9778.
    • 6. Knorr, Fritz J.; Hung, We-chen; Wai, Chien M.  "Aromatic electron acceptors change the chirality dependence of single-walled carbon nanotube oxidation", Langmuir 2009, 25, 10417-10421.
  • Research Projects
    • Developing green extraction techniques for nuclear waste management with the nuclear industry
    • British Nuclear Fuel plc. 1995-1998; Areva 2004-2010
    • Areva has licensed Wai's supercritical fluid extraction technology from the University of Idaho for industrial recovery of enriched uranium from wasted generated by a nuclear fuel fabrication process.  This is the first industrial demonstration of UI's supercritical fluid technology for nuclear waste management.
  • Outreach Projects
    • Visiting Faculty, 1976-1977, Institute of Geophysics, UCLA
    • Scientist in Residence, 1982-1983, Chemical Technology Division, Argonne National Lab, Argonne, Illinois
    • NORCUS Visiting Faculty, August - December 1990, Battelle Pacific Northwest Lab, Richland, Washington
    • Research Fellow, January - May 1991, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Tokai Mura, Japan
    • Visiting Professor, October 2002 - January 2003, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • Awards and Honors
    • University of Idaho Annual Award for Teaching Excellence, 1990
    • University of Idaho Annual Award for Research Excellence,1991
    • S.T. Li Prize for Achievements in Science and Technology, 2004-2005
    • University of Idaho College of Science Distinguished Faculty Award, 2009

Chien's Links