Jinsang Kim



Biointerfaces Institute
NCRC 26-133N

T: (734) 936-4681







B.S. (Fiber and Polymer Science) Seoul National University, 1991
M.S. (Fiber and Polymer Science) Seoul National University, 1993 Advisor: Prof. Sungil Hong
Ph.D. (Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001 Advisor: Prof. Timothy Swager
Postdoc (Division of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry) California Institute of Technology, 2001 - 2003 Advisor: Prof. David Tirrell


Director, Macromolecular Science & Engineering Program



General research interests are molecular design, synthesis, modification, and self-assembly of smart polymers for biomedical and optoelectronic applications, including Plastic Electronics, Organic Light Emitting Molecules, 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.

Plastic Electronics: Conjugated polymers have become emerging materials for electronic devices. Their optical and semiconducting properties can be readily tunable through rational molecular design and chemical synthesis. We have been investigating structure-property correlation of conjugated polymers to establish molecular design rules to achieve high charge mobility, optimized energy levels, enhanced stability and fabrication versatility. Designer conjugated polymers for TFT, solar cells, thermoelectric, and LED are under development.

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.


2019 Holt Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Michigan

2016 Monroe-Brown Foundation Research Excellent Award 

D. B. Robinson Distinguished Lecture, Univ. of Alberta, 2016

Associate Editor, Macromolecular Research (Springer), 2015 -

MSE Outstanding Accomplishment Award, Col. of Eng., Univ. of Michigan 2013.

BK21 Plus Invited Professorship, Sungkyunkwan University 2013

WCU Invited Professorship Seoul National University 2009

National Science Foundation CAREER AWARD 2007.

Named One of Emerging Investigators by the J. of Materials Chemistry 2007. 

Jon R. & Beverly S. Holt Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Col. of Eng.,U Michi 2006.

2002 ACS  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).