Specific Research Areas

Energy Production

Through research on solar cells and hydrogen energy, which are core technologies in new and renewable energy, this research group has outstanding thesis achievements with ten professions and ten specific technology research areas aiming to develop technologies necessary for high-efficiency production of clean and eco-friendly energy.

  1. Hydrogen Energy

    • [Representative Technology] Research on high-performance photoelectrode materials and photoelectrochemical cells for photovoltaic-hydrogen production (In Sun Cho, New Materials Engineering)

      • Objectives and Details: To develop a high-performance photoelectrode for photovoltaic water splitting and hydrogen production, and CO2 conversion to chemicals and fuel, a new material group platform has been established by linking or utilizing a new nanomaterial synthesis method based on computational simulation techniques and non-equilibrium heat treatment processes while conducting the developments through experimental synthesis and manufacturing.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: Manufacturing, evaluation, and development of photovoltaic water splitting and hydrogen production devices, as well as the establishment of core technologies for nanomaterial synthesis technology and excellent research results. (Many journal papers published in Energy & Environmental Science, Advanced Energy Materials, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, Advanced Functional Materials, and Nanoscale).
    • [Specific Technologies]

      • Research on hydrogen production technology based on photocatalyst via solar energy (Yu Kwon Kim, Chemistry).
      • Development of hydrogen production technology from organic metal catalyst-based biomass and organic waste resources (Hye-Young Jang, Chemistry).
      • Development of hydrogen production process from biomass and organic wastes (Jechan Lee, Environmental Safety Engineering).
      • High purity hydrogen production catalyst and process for fuel cell (Eun Duck Park, Chemical Engineering).
      • Optimal catalyst development for hydrogen production based on hydrogen salt, and hydrogen salt regeneration technology research (Hak Ki Yu, New Materials Engineering).
  2. Solar Energy

    • Research on photoelectric conversion based on transparent solar cells (Yu Kwon Kim, Chemistry)

      • Objectives and Details: Development of a thin-film manufacturing technique that controls the growth of thin-film structures based on a two-dimensional sulfide: identification of physical properties (optical and physical properties) of the thin-film to develop a technology to manufacture highly efficient transparent solar cells.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: Relevant research outcomes were published in Advanced Functional Materials (Vol. 28, pp. 1804737) and Nano Energy (Vo. 68, pp. 104328). Adv. Func. Mater. related research achievements were published in the South Korean media (in Kookmin Daily, Oct.5, 2018).
      • Research on bonding optimization in thin-film solar cell (Hyungtak Seo, New Materials Engineering).
      • Research on surface texturing for solar cells (Chang-Koo Kim, Chemical Engineering).
      • Research on thin-film solar cell development (Sang Woon Lee, Physics).

Energy Storage and Distribution

Five professors participate in seven specific technology research projects while building close industry-academy cooperation to develop next-generation battery storage technology.

  1. Energy Storage

    • Research on improving the efficiency and stability of the next-generation lithium and potassium batteries (Won-Jin Kwak, Chemistry)

      • Objectives and Details: Research on the development of functional electrolyte materials stable against singlet oxygen attack when running lithium and potassium-oxygen batteries, with high electrochemical stability and effectiveness in stabilizing the electrode-electrolyte interface.
      • Excellence in Research Capabilities: As lead authors, more than 20 articles related to stability evaluation of electrolyte catalyst material for lithium-oxygen battery and lithium metal anode protection research were published in Energy & Environmental Science (2016), Advanced Energy Materials (2017, 2018), and Nature Communications (2019).
    • Development of optimal design and condition prediction model for secondary battery (Chee Burm Shin, Chemical Engineering)

      • Objectives and Details: Analysis on the aging of secondary batteries such as lithium-ion batteries, AGM batteries, VRLA batteries, dual batteries, and ultracapacitors; based on the analysis, research on model development predicting optimal design and accurate performance and condition.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: There are excellent research capabilities to develop models predicting the performance of various secondary batteries (e.g., papers published in Journal of The Electrochemical Society 165(16), several national research projects on related topics, several industry-academy cooperative research on related topics with GM Korea, Hyundai NGV, and LS Mtron).
      • Catalyst technology for hydrogen storage through hydrogenation/dehydrogenation reactions (Eun Duck Park/Chemical Engineering, and Hye-Young Jang/Chemistry).
      • Element material technology for flexible supercapacitors based on nanocomposite materials (Hyungtak Seo, New Materials Engineering).
      • Research on the development of solar energy storage materials based on alkaline earth metal oxide hydration reaction (Hak Ki Yu, New Materials Engineering).
  2. Energy AICBM

      • Big data-based energy distribution technology research (collaboration with Ajou University’s AI Graduate School and Information and Communication University).
      • Discovering new and renewable energy industries based on big data (collaboration with Ajou University’s AI Graduate School and Information and Communication University).

Energy Consumption

Nine professors participate in nine specific technology research projects to improve energy efficiency related to photoelectric devices and storage materials and develop safety technologies for hydrogen and secondary batteries; it enables the maintenance of leadership in national policy-based research.

  1. Energy Efficiency

    • Research on the high-efficiency photoelectric device (Dong-Il Yeom, Optics)

      • Objectives and Details: Research on high efficiency and lightweight photoelectric and optical devices by maximizing the interaction between graphene or two-dimensional semiconductor materials and light.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: There are excellent research capabilities in the research of optical devices based on two-dimensional materials and ultra-short pulse lasers (e.g., paper published in Nature Communications (2015), and ongoing relevant research projects such as medium-sized projects and two national defense-related projects).
      • New catalyst technology for high temperature/high-pressure chemical process replacement (Eun Duck Park, Chemical Engineering).
      • Research on the control technology of the interface structure between electrolytes, electrodes, and separators in energy devices (Tae Soup Shim, Chemical Engineering).
      • Development of high-strength lightweight alloys or lightweight composite materials to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions (Byungmin Ahn, New Materials Engineering).
  2. Safety/Sensor

    • Development of an optical sensor to detect harmful gases and errors inside the device (Hwan Myung Kim, Chemistry)

      • Objectives and Details: Research on photoelectric molecular sensors suitable for precise detection of harmful gases during the energy process and in situ analysis of impurities and defects inside secondary batteries.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: There are leading research results on the design, synthesis, and application of organic optical sensors. (e.g., papers published in Chemical Reviews (2015), ongoing national leading research projects in laboratories (2011-present) and industry-academy cooperative research with SFC, etc.).
      • Technology development of high-reliability hydrogen multi-sensing sensors based on hydrogen alloy catalyst and oxide (Hyungtak Seo and Hak Ki Yu, New Materials Engineering).
      • Research on non-atmospheric power colorimetric sensors using photonic crystal (Tae Soup Shim, Chemical Engineering).
      • New material design and sensing platform development for detecting low concentration hydrogen (Hyungwoo Lee, Physics).
      • Research on the safety of lithium-ion batteries via modeling under severe conditions (Chee Burm Shin, Chemical Engineering).

Energy Recycling

Five professors conduct six specific technology research projects to develop chemical reactions using CO2, reduction materials, biowaste recovery, and bio-tissue-based materials, and oxide-based piezoelectric harvesting device technology while holding several patented original technologies.

  1. CO2 Utilization

    • Chemical conversion of C1 gas for CO2 reduction (Hye-Young Jang, Chemistry)

      • Objectives and Details: Conversion of high value-added chemical substances of CO gas through the development of organometallic-based nanocatalysts.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: There are organometallic-based high-efficiency catalyst manufacturing and analysis technologies e.g., five papers published in numerous journals including ACS Macro Letters (2016), three relevant domestic patents have been registered, patent applications in China are in progress, and its related article was published in the Korea Economic Daily (2017).
      • CO2 conversion using liquid hydrogen source from biomass based on the organometallic catalyst (Hye-Young Jang, Chemistry).
      • Research on the improved process efficiency for resource and energy recovery of biomass and wastes via the utilization of CO2 (Jechan Lee, Environmental Safety Engineering).
  2. Energy Harvesting

    • High-efficiency biocompatibility, a flexible piezoelectric element, and artificial photoelectric biological tissues (Sunghwan Kim, Physics)

      • Objectives and Details: Research on the physical properties of biomaterials to achieve high efficiency and interface improvement between piezoelectric elements harvesting electrical energy from the human body and bio-organization of photoelectric devices converting light into electrical signals, as well as its device realization.
      • Excellence in Research Capability: There are outstanding research capabilities in the development of nano-optical and electronic devices based on the technologies for modifying the properties of protein materials and applying nano-processing (e.g., papers published in journals including Nano Energy (2019), ACS Nano (2018), Nano Letters (2015), etc., three national research projects plan to conduct industry-academy cooperative research projects on related topics with Samsung Advanced Institute Of Technology).
      • Research on large-area manufacturing technology for high aspect ratio surface structures (Chang-Koo Kim, Chemical Engineering).
      • Research on maximizing the efficiency of piezoelectric devices using oxide membranes (Hyungwoo Lee, Physics).