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2020-06 01 Important News

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Standing at the Center of Cutting-Edge Technology

Although there have been notable advances in the study of natural science, research related to high pressure has not been active in Korea due to the lack of groundwork technology. Professor Kim Jaeyong (Department of Physics) is opening up the route to high pressure research through the HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center, the hub of collaboration between the world-class institutes. Professor Kim Jaeyong (Department of Physics) is paving the way for high pressure research in Korea. The HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center was established in 2016 with support from The Ministry of Science and ICT. The research center is in a collaborative relationship with the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) of the United States and the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research (HPSTAR) of China. The three institutes are consistently sharing their research outcomes by holding joint symposiums and reinforcing researcher exchanges. Kim explained the collaboration as “a successful case of acquiring advanced technologies by bringing in world-class institutes,” referring to the research spirit of the center as “Moon Ik-jeom spirit.” Moon is a historical figure who brought cottonseed from China into Korea, allowing the country to produce and distribute cotton to citizens. Just as Moon did in the past, Kim attained three diamond anvil cells, high pressure devices that enable the compression of a small piece of material with extreme pressure, from HPSTAR in 2016. Within a short period, Kim succeeded in producing a unique version of the cell. The center’s main focus is on hydrogen energy storage. The have recently reported successful results in the reversible storage of hydrogen energy. By imposing high pressure in Ti-Zr-Ni Quasicrystals, the research team was able to keep 4.2 wt of hydrogen at room temperature. Kim hopes that the results will contribute to the commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars. Kim hopes to contribute to the commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars with his recent research. Kim has demonstrated his will to help position the HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center as the hub of high pressure research. Kim also encouraged more students to participate in the research. “Our university has sufficient human resources, research conditions, and support systems to conduct the research,” said the professor. “I hope the students can feel the sense of thrill that comes from standing at the center of cutting-edge technology.” Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-06 01

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Effective Use of Photocatalysts to Combat Environmental Problems

Numerous attempts have been made by engineers to apply technology to our everyday problems. Professor Park Jae-woo (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) tackles one of the most critical problems of our time, environmental pollution, using the special characteristics of nano photocatalysts. His research focuses on resolving the problems caused during the reduction-oxidation process of photocatalysts. Through his research, he has discovered that the use of the Charge Transfer Layer (CTL) is significantly effective, and expects the findings to help organic pollutants decompose through photocatalysts, which will lead to a cleaner society. For the past 15 years, Park has been conducting research on the development of magnetic-cored dendrimers and nano-photocatalysts for the purpose of environmental purification. According to Park, nano-photocatalysts have the power to commence oxidation in hazardous substances by separating electrons from holes. This process of oxidation converts substances into water and carbon dioxide gas, which are harmless to the environment. However, despite their striking capabilities, photocatalysts have their shortcomings. In his research, Park focused on compromising with the photocatalysts' technical problem. For the past 15 years, Professor Park Jae-woo (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) has been conducting research on the development of nano-photocatalysts for the purpose of environmental purification. The problem with the use of photocatalysts One of the biggest disadvantages of using the reduction-oxidation of photocatalysts is that electrons have the tendency to return to their respective electron holes. Their tendency to recombine after separation lowered the rate at which photocatalysts oxidized harmful substances, and many researchers have sought out ways to prevent the recombination of electrons with the electron holes. The existing methods such as doping, facet, and core-shell merely slow down the rate at which electrons recombine with electron holes and fail to completely separate them. However, Park has succeeded in permanently separating the electrons using the CTL. How was CTL used? A photocatalyst which utilizes the CTL is comprised of three components: the photocatalyst which forms a pair of electrons and electron holes, the CTL which moves the electrons selectively, and the collector which accumulates and stores the moved electrons. Here, the CTL, being the main component, carries the electrons while inhibiting their passage through electron holes. As a result, the electron is moved from the photocatalyst to the electron collector, and suppresses them from recombining. What makes Park and his team’s accomplishment so unique is the fact that their work did not stop at only delaying the recombination, as previous methods had done, but also entirely prevented recombination by separating the electrons and shutting down the reverse-travelling by maintaining a high level of catalyst reaction. The result of the research “We have conducted two experiments to prove there is an increased activation of catalysts by using the CTL in the mentioned study,” said Park. He continued, “The first, is hydrolysis. A catalyst under the influence of the CTL displayed 78% higher hydrogenative yield than the existing one in the visible ray photography. Then, in the experiment with the subject bisphenol A, which is an organic pollutant, the catalyst showed a very high 93% removal rate after three hours of reaction." Park also believes that catalysts utilizing the CTL can be applied to energy and environment-related fields in an extensive range. Park said, “I want to thank my graduate school students, whose effort and sweat have made all this possible.” Park expressed gratitude to his graduate school students, whose effort and hard work have made the project possible. “It motivates me to reflect on my mindset when I see students working so hard on the research topic.” He especially thanked Hassan Anwer (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Doctoral program) for his devotion to the research. Lee Yoon-seo cipcd0909@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-05 04 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] From Seawater to Fresh Water

Droughts and water shortages are serious global threats. However, many technical developments are in progress to resolve these problems, and one of them is desalination. Desalination is the process of separating the salt in seawater from the water in order to get usable fresh water. However, the currently available technologies have the problem of sustainability, for they require fossil fuel and costly factories to be constructed. To suggest an alternative, Professor Kwak Rho-kyun (Department of Mechanical Engineering) is researching electro-membrane desalination. Professor Kwak Rho-kyun (Department of Mechanical Engineering) has been working on the topic of electro-membrane desalination for 10 years. Electro-membrane desalination uses the division of positive ion and negative ion when salt dissolves in water. The positive and negative ions are drawn to each pole when voltage is applied. Intersecting the membrane that makes each ion between electrodes pass through, called the exchange membrane of positive and negative ions, salt ions can be collected and removed. What is left is fresh water with the saline ions removed. Kwak has been working on the topic for 10 years, since he was a doctoral student. He said he first began his research inspired by the idea from his Ph.D. advisor that the unusual migration phenomenon of biomaterials such as DNA and ions would also occur in the electric membrane desalination system. His first goal was building a system of electro-membrane desalination to check whether the migration of biomaterials such as DNA and ions appear in the system of electro-membrane desalination, and visualizing the migration of the ions inside. Based on the visualization research, Kwak studied various subjects such as improving the efficiency of existing desalination devices and of treating the produced water. Kwak expressed special gratitude toward his graduate students who have helped him throughout the research process. Kwak said the significance of the study lies in that it developed a promising futuristic desalination technology, enabling Korea to become a global powerhouse to solve the future water shortage problem. Kwak’s innovative research has been highly acknowledged, introduced in journals like PRL and JOFM and others on the topics of desalination and water research. Kwak also expressed gratitude toward his graduate school students who have helped him throughout the research process. “I really want to thank my students. Their hard work was what made it possible to achieve such good research results,” said Kwak. Hwang Hee-won whitewon99@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-05 03

[Academics][Excellent R&D] How Data Science Connects with Society

Data science is the use of the scientific method to obtain useful information from computer data. As it gives new insights into a vast amount of data, there exists an interdisciplinary approach in social science to compensate for what they might have missed through traditional methods with data science. Professor Cha Jae-hyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) developed a platform that accelerates the convergence of the two disciplines. Professor Cha Jaehyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) established a platform that merges data science with social science. Data science is expected to bring about a new horizon in social science as social issues are becoming more complex. “We are now in a hyper-connected society where small changes bring about significant ripple effects,” explained Cha. Traditional social research methods could easily result in biases as they rely on surveys which only take a small amount of data into consideration. Cha expects computational social science to contribute to the analysis of potential risk factors and to establish sustainable policies for vulnerable, multi-dimensional social issues. Cha is currently working to build a platform that integrates data science into social science. The platform consists of three subgroups that make social models through continuous monitoring and data collection. One deals with societal anxiety through analysis of social networking, whereas another group covers disability rights in relation to social mobility. The third digs deeper into public health issues, especially related to infectious disease control. Cha’s role is the general management of the platform. He added that the research is mainly done in association with seven social scientists and nine data scientists. There are the three subgroups which researchers use to create social models through monitoring and data analysis. (Photo courtesy of the Computational Social Science Center) Cha highlighted the importance of the platform as a channel for conversation. “Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches open the way into problems that are difficult to address through the methods of traditional disciplines,” said Cha. This platform lets researchers from two disciplines share the outcomes and objectives of the study through visualization. Cha also revealed his plans as a director of the Computational Social Science Center. “I have seen researchers struggling due to academic barriers between the two disciplines,” said the director. Cha expects to foster interdisciplinarians who grasps the essentials of both data science and social science and can bridge the gap between the two fields of study. A breakthrough occurs when we bring down boundaries and encourage disciplines to learn from each other. Cha is opening the way to the resolution of social issues through the convergence of data science and social science. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr