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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

2020-04 28
2020-04 28 Important News
2020-04 28

[Academics]Professor Kim Do-hwan and His Research Team Develop Ultra-sensitive Iontronic Graphene Tactile Sensors with Ionic Liquid Droplets

Professor Kim Do-hwan’s research team, from Hanyang University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, announced on the 20th that he and Professor Lee Wi-hyoung’s research team, from Konkuk University, developed flexible and transparent iontronic graphene tactile sensors (i-GTS) with superior sensitivity, using the dynamic characteristics of liquid droplets. ▲The following is the mechanism proposed for this study of tactile sensors. A model diagram that senses pressure from changes in capacitance as ionic liquids fixed on the graphene grid comes into contact with the upper graphene electrodes. As wearable sensors have started to become more popular, the need for smart interface technology that can recognize users’ surroundings in real-time, along with electronic skin technology has become more crucial than ever. The most important technology for electronic skins is a tactile sensor technology that has sensitive recognition techniques even under minute pressure. Both research teams took advantage of the phenomenon where ionic liquid was fixed between the two graphene grid layers, and the upper electrodes made of graphene spread in contact with the ionic liquid. Through this, the research team was able to develop an iontronic graphene tactile sensor that is highly sensitive to even the finest touch. Their discovery is highly anticipated, as tactile sensors are manufactured with large-area integrated arrays, they have the advantage of creating less confusion between the devices, which is expected to minimize touch errors. It is expected that the iontronic graphene tactile sensors developed in this study will be applied to various fields, such as flexible displays and healthcare devices, as they have excellent sensitivity sensors and fast recovery speed. The graphene electrodes/active ionic liquid layers are transparent and flexible, so it is expected for them to be used as wearable graphene tactile sensors that can give various visual effects and body adhesion. This study, by Professor Kim Do-hwan (Hanyang University, Corresponding author), Kim Joo-sung, a Ph.D. candidate (Hanyang University, Lead author), Professor Lee Wi-hyoung (Konkuk University, Corresponding author), Researcher Lee Seung-chul (Konkuk University, Lead author, Ph.D. graduate, Researcher for LG Display), received grants from the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Global Frontier Research Program (Center for Advanced Soft Electronics) and from the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea. Additionally, this study first demonstrated a paradigm that a graphene tactile sensor can be developed with fast recovery speed using the dynamic characteristics of liquid droplets, and in recognition of its excellence in research, this study was chosen as a cover thesis for the April issue of Advanced Functional Materials (IF = 15.621)’, a leading international academic journal for the field of materials. Global News Team global@hanyang.ac.kr Translation by: Lee Jung-joo

2020-04 14
2020-04 14
2020-04 07
2020-04 07 Important News
2020-04 06

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Into the Unknown through Convergence

For a long time, scientists have wanted to figure out how the elements which constitute the universe were formed. Still, there is not much known about this mechanism. Heavy-ion particle accelerators now provide a clue to the generative processes as they reproduce what the universe has been going through since its creation. Professor Kim Yong-kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) contributed to the establishment of a new heavy-ion particle accelerator RAON by building the most powerful and accurate μSR (Muon spin rotation). Professor Kim Yong-Kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) is engaging in the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator project called RAON. RAON is a heavy-ion particle accelerator propelled by the Institute of Basic Science, which is a machine that can be used to find undiscovered elements or reenact the formation process of existing elements. It will be the first heavy-ion particle accelerator that uses both Isotope Separation On-Line and In-flight Fragmentation methods. Because the machine is so complex, researchers are conducting the project in collaboration with many other accelerator research groups including Radiation Instrument and Sensor Engineering Lab (RAISE), a Hanyang University Research Laboratory led by Kim. Kim’s team has been specifically working on μSR. μ (Muon) is an unstable elementary particle similar to the electron which is created by collision between high-energy protons and the atmosphere. Owing to its greater mass, μ accelerates slower than electrons in electromagnetic fields. μ lets scientists probe the properties of novel materials as it penetrates far deeper into the matter than X-rays. μ exist all around the world, but is useless because of its short meantime of 2.2 μs (microseconds). “That is why we use heavy-ion particle accelerators to create μ,” explained Kim. μ helps probe the properties of novel materials as μSR has become a tool of measurement. (Photo Courtesy of Kim) μSR measures the decay and spin information with μ produced by the accelerators, offering new insights into the property of a matter. μSR is a technique based on the implantation of spin-polarized μ in the matter and on the detection of the influence of the atomic, molecular or crystalline surroundings on their spin motion. Kim’s team is now building the most powerful and precise μSR in the world. “Our μSR is expected to further the development of new semiconductors and superconductors as well as shed light on material science,” said Kim. Ten years ago, when the government first launched the project of building the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator, no one in the field believed that there would be a notable achievement. However, within a decade, RAON is becoming the cutting-edge convergence technology of basic science. Kim attributes its success to Korea’s competitiveness in interdisciplinary education between basic science and practical studies. “STEM education in Korea is top-notch,” said Kim. “The Department of Nuclear Engineering's curriculum contributed to a certain extent.” Kim ascribed its success to the education system that highlights interdisciplinary studies. Kim advised students to find new possibilities and integrate different interests, saying “You should challenge yourself to achieve what you aim for.” With these initiatives in mind, Kim is pioneering his way into science and technology that is yet unknown. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-03 29

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A Cause of Parkinson’s Disease Recently Discovered

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The cause of PD is still unknown, other than its suggested correlation with genetic and environmental factors. Professor Lee Sang-hun (College of Medicine) has recently come up with a model that supports the hereditary cause of disease. Professor Lee Sang-hun's (College of Medicine) research presents a new clue about the cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). PD is found to be associated with the degeneration of midbrain-type dopamine (mDA) neurons. Lee’s research team found out that the RNA-binding protein Lin28 plays a role in neuronal stem cell development, and that the gene mutation of Lin28 causes the degeneration of mDA neurons. Also, the experiment showed that when the Lin28 mutation was corrected, the symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease disappeared. Lee came up with an in vitro human embryonic stem cell/human induced pluripotent stem cell‐based disease model. The model proposes that the Lin28 R192G mutation leads to developmental defects and modification of Lin28 opens up the possibility of rescuing the patient from the disease. “People normally think that PD is deeply related to one’s age,” said Lee. “This research suggests that it is also highly likely to be a genetic defect. This finding will provide a more accurate diagnosis model.” Lee's team found out that an RNA-binding protein called Lin28 plays a role in the manifestation and treatment of PD. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Researchers spent four years trying to identify the distinct characteristics that two young PD patients shared with each other. The team conducted numerous biological trials to prove their findings. The model was a reward for their ceaseless efforts, taking them a step closer to finally identifying the cause of PD. However, there is still no cure for PD or for many other neurodegenerative diseases. Lee said he intends to develop a practical treatment during his last five years of tenure. “I am now working on projects with bio-venture companies,” explained Lee. “I hope my research enables a more pragmatic approach in overcoming neurodegenerative diseases.” Lee plans to work on pragmatic treatments during his last five years of tenure. Lee asked students to be more ambitious in deciding what they long to achieve. “He who works hard will get the chance to show himself,” advised the professor, leading by example for all young scholars. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-03 26

[Academics]Hanyang University Professor Kim Jong-Ho, Developed a Nanocatalyst that Enhances the Performance of Metal-Air Batteries

Professor Kim Jong-ho Hanyang University announced on March 26th that Professor Kim Jong-ho's team in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering of Hanyang University ERICA campus has developed a new nanocatalyst that enhances the performance of metal-air batteries. A "metal-air battery" is a next-generation battery that is charged and discharged through oxygen in the air, which has bigger energy storage, a lower price, and no possibility of explosion compared to the Lithium-ion batteries, and therefore is attracting the attention of the electric vehicle industry. The performance of a metal-air battery that can be charged and discharged is determined by the oxygen's oxidation and deoxidation rate of reaction happening within the cathode. Up until now, expensive catalysts such as platinum (Pt) and ruthenium (Ru) have been used to catalyze the oxidation and deoxidation of the oxygen. However, these catalysts had the problem of reducing the lifespan of the battery, due to its high price and low stability. For this reason, the need for a carbon catalyst with a low price and great performance has been understood. Professor Kim's team coined the "Solvothermal Radical Synthesis," solving the problem through delicately adjusting the nanostructure and vitality of the carbon catalyst. Professor Kim's team attached cobalt atoms or cobalt nanoparticles to porous carbon nanostructures, in order to adjust the interaction between organic-inorganic molecules and precisely control the structure and vitality of the catalyst, thereby enhancing the performance and stability of the catalysts. The metal-air battery produced through the use of this carbon-nanocatalyst has a 30% lower price than the original catalyst, which maintains its stabilized performance above 100%, even after its long charging and discharging. Professor Kim mentioned that "when the carbon-nanocatalyst with a cheap price and high performance is applied to metal-air batteries, it will remarkably reduce the unit cost of electric vehicles," and added, "This research provides a new method to develop a next-generation nanocatalyst material with precisely adjusted structure and performance through molecular controlling." This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and was conducted with Professor Lee Sang-uck's team from Hanyang University ERICA Departement of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, and the result of the research (Paper Title: Molecular engineering of nanostructures and activities on bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts for Zinc-air batteries) that was published online on one of the top internationally renowned academic journals within the field of chemical and environmental engineering, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, on March 9th. ▲ Synthesis of carbon-based nanocatalyst through effective molecule control <Reference> Related paper: 2020_3_Molecular engineering of nanostructures and activities on bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts for Zinc-air batteries 『Applied Catalysis B: Environmental』 Global News Team Translated by: Lee Wonyoung global@hanyang.ac.kr