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Research Summary

The purpose of our research is developing the next-generation nanoparticle system which can exhibit novel chemical and physical properties. The particle system can incorporate various functional modalities which can endow our nanoparticle system with multi-tasking and enhanced properties. These nanoparticles are now used in medicine (e.g. sensitive diagnosis and therapies) and energy (e.g. batteries and photocatalysis).

Nano-chemistry

The main purpose is to develop futuristic inorganic nanoparticle which has a totally new design concept. In contrast to the previously reported nanoparticles mainly fabricated by trial and error or by serendipity, our nanoparticle, called as "evolutionary" nanoparticle, is constructed by the systematic and rational design which makes it to be susceptible to the outer environment or stimulation so that it can be transformed into new shape and structure. The resulting nanoparticle exhibits totally new materials properties. We expected novel magnetism, optical characteristics, and hybrid functionalities which can be further changeable for the optimization when needed. In order to examine the various novel properties of these evolutionary nanoparticles, we have basic equipments such as TEM, SEM, XRD and XPS. In addition, for the nano-analysis of atomic-level precision we are supported by world class, high-voltage (1.2 MV) electron microscope in KBSI(Korea Basic Science Institute), and PAL(Pohang Accelerator Laboratory)

1. Rational design and synthesis of nanoparticles

We have modified the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles by external stimuli such as chemicals and thermal energies. This is one of the challenging issues in chemistry and materials science. In this light, we are currently designing and synthesizing new nanoparticles according to the nanoscale law that can govern the properties of materials.

Shape Evolution of Single-Crystalline Iron Oxide Nanocrystals

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126 (7), pp 1950-1951 More

Exchange-Coupled Magnetic Nanoparticles for Efficient Heat Induction

Nature Nanotechnology, 2011, 6(7), pp 418-422 More

2. Development of two-dimensional layered nanoparticles

One of our research has focused on the synthesis of two dimensional nanoparticles which is laterally confined (<100 nm). These nanoparticles usually have layered structures in which Li+ and H+ ions can be stored between the interplanar spaces. This intercalation mechanism enables energy storaging processes more efficient and the realization of high power rechargeable battery will be possible.

Nano-medicine

For the purpose, we are actively collaborating with world class research teams and facilities in Yonsei Medical School (Severance Hospital), UCLA, and UCSF.

1. Smart Imaging System

Nanoparticles can be served as good candidates for highly accurate and sensitive imaging agents to detect various disease including cancer, cancer metastasis, and Alzheimer’s disease. We have investigated the relationship between the nanoparticle’s physical characteristics and their imaging capabilities. Based on the understandings, we designed and performed the smart imaging system which could be utilized for the disease detection including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and optical imaging tools.

Selected publications

2. Therapeutics

Nanoparticles can be used as therapeutic platform also. Our researches focused on unique function of magnetic nanoparticle not only for therapeutic hyperthermia of cancer, but also for controlled cancer drug release.

Selected publications

3. Nanoparticles as smart cell actuators

Nanoparticles can be new tools for controlling cellular metabolism including differentiation, growth, and death. For example, mechanical forces driven by magnetic nanoparticles are demonstrated to be useful for molecular level cell signaling and for cell fate control. Therefore this new cellular actuator can provide an alternative and non-invasive method for studying cellular behaviors, which can be controlled magnetically and spatiotemporally.

Selected publications

Nano-energy

One of the primary goals in nanochemistry is contribution to make a greener world. Currently, our interests are mainly focused on three parts. i) Developing new nanomaterials for use in the next generation energy storage (e.g. solar cells and Li+ battery). Ii) Degradation of organic pollutant in water by nano-catalysis (e.g. photocatalysis). iii) Elucidation of fundamental theory and enhancing the lubrication performance. To achieve these ultimate goals, we have established in-depth collaborations with research groups from renowned institutions including the Energy Storage research teams at Seoul National University and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with University of California at Berkeley.

1. Next Generation Energy Storage

Nanoscale layered materials with open edges exhibit large surface areas, finite lateral sizes, and enhanced electrochemical properties. We have investigated the synthetic methods of 2-D layered nanostructures as well as general principles behind their highly enhanced Li ion storage capacity. Furthermore, we have overcome the sharp decrease in capacity during electrochemical cycles.

Two-Dimensional Nanosheet Crystals

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, pp8828-8831 More

Ultrathin Zirconium Disulfide Nanodiscs

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(20), pp.7636-7639 More

 

 

2. Advanced Solar Energy Harvesting Material

Nanoscale layered materials with open edges exhibit large surface areas, finite lateral sizes, and enhanced electrochemical properties. We have investigated the synthetic methods of 2-D layered nanostructures as well as general principles behind their highly enhanced Li ion storage capacity. Furthermore, we have overcome the sharp decrease in capacity during electrochemical cycles.