B.S. (Fiber and Polymer Science) Seoul National University, 1991
M.S. (Fiber and Polymer Science) Seoul National University, 1993
Ph.D. (Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001
General research interests are molecular design, synthesis, modification, and self-assembly of smart polymers for biomedical and optoelectronic applications, including Biomaterials, Molecular Biosensors, Smart Gels, Optoelectronic Polymers, Conjugated Polymers, Block Copolymers, Organic-inorganic Hybrid Materials, Photovoltaic Cells, and Self-assembly. Currently we are studying the following areas:
Biosensors: Sensitivity and selectivity are the most important parameters of a sensor. Nature provides high fidelity in biosynthesis. The unique combination of this specificity of the bio-system and the tunable properties of synthetic polymers would be a promising direction toward molecular sensors with high selectivity and sensitivity. We are developing molecular biosensors and bio-microarrays through bio-/synthetic hybrid systems for clinically important biological materials.
Photovoltaic Cells: Much effort has been made to convert abundant solar energy into useful electricity. The solar cells made of inorganic semiconductors require stringent manufacturing processes and high cost that are not suitable for large area application. Conjugated polymer (CP)-based solar cells are attractive alternatives due to easy processibility and the tunable optoelectronic properties. Hybrid composites of conjugated block copolymers and inorganic nanoparticles having hierarchical nano-ordering are currently under investigation by means of new materials development and nanoimprinting.
Organic Phosphors: Recently we developed a molecular design principle to realize pure organic phosphor having high emission quantum yield even at room temperature with oxygen presence. By rationally designing directed heavy atom effects through intermolecular halogen bonding in crystalline aromatic carbonyl compounds we achieved highly efficient triplet generation and suppression of vibration dissipation. Controlling electron density of such organic phosphorescent materials we could achieve active color tuning as well. We are developing a second generation of organic phosphors to apply them to device applications.
Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 2001 - 2003.
Research Scientist, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 1994 - 1996.
Awards and Service:
MSE Outstanding Accomplishment Award, College of Engineering, University of Michigan 2013.
National Science Foundation CAREER AWARD 2007.
Named One of Emerging Investigators by the Journal of Materials Chemistry May 2007.
Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt Awards for Excellence in Teaching, College of Engineering,University of Michigan 2006.
2002 ACS (American Chemical Society) ICI Award in Applied Polymer Science(August, 2002).
2002 IUPAC Award for Young Chemist for the Best Ph.D. Thesis in the Chemical Science (www.iupac.org/news/prize/2002/kim.html) (May, 2002).
MRS (Materials Research Society) Graduate Student Gold Award (November, 2000).
Il-Ju Academic Foundation Overseas Graduate Fellowship, Korea (June, 1996).
Graduation Award for Top Undergraduate Students (SNU, February 1991).