Seminar by Prof. Jong-Souk Yeo (Yonsei), July 5th

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Jong Souk Yeo, one of our partner from Yonsei University, is visiting us in July. He will give a seminar talk on July 5th at 10am in Hallwachsstr. 3, Seminar room.

Nature-Inspired Approach to Nanotechnology

Biomimetics, Biomimicry, Nature-Inspired, or Biologically Inspired technologies are all referring to the emerging fields where innovations are strongly influenced by the wisdom from nature or biological systems. Biomimetics is the scientific approach of learning new principles and processes based on systematic study of living organisms, plants, or animals in order to develop novel engineering systems through the convergence of biology, materials science, cognitive science, robotics, and nanotechnology. Especially, the multi-functionality offered by the nature can enable various applications with the help of nanotechnology. Multiple levels of approaches are feasible from nature-inspiration – adaptation of how nature works, adoption of what nature provides, or replication of natural processes and functionalities for eco-friendly, sustainable, highly efficient technologies. In this talk, nature-inspired approaches to nanotechnology will be introduced for next generation technologies in displays, semiconductors, and sensors enabled by biomimetic surface, optical, electronic, or bio functionalities.

Research profile of SangWook Park

Human history is tied to the materials past culture have had available to us, and more recently to the materials we have been able to create. Ancient cultures began their existence making use of easily obtained materials such as stone, soil, bones and some metals found in their local environments. This may be called the “inorganic material age”. Around 1900, a technique of producing polymer from petroleum was developed and the “synthesizable organic material age” started. This supplied mass producible general grade material and replaced inorganic to organic matter. However, modern rapid technological progress transformed our world into one in which electronic capabilities are integrated throughout all aspects of everyday life. This gave rise to return of the “inorganic material age” which has electrical properties such as silicon and metal. Recent demand for flexible electronic devices that can be stretched and bent is seeking for alternative materials to conventional inorganic matter. Also, with the expansion of application and demand for electronic devices, the needs for mass producible materials that have technical and economic viability are growing. In this regard, the only and promising material is “Carbon-rich”. I strongly believe that petroleum derived mass producible carbon material is crucial in leading electronic devices industry and would lead to the opening of “Synthesizable carbon-rich material age”.

Both my master’s thesis work and professional work focused on the improvement of productivity of hydrocarbon to carbon conversion. During the master’s program, I have worked on the sustainable growth of carbon nanotube on 2-D substrate through inhibition of Ostwald ripening. At GS Caltex, I have been working on the enhancement of productivity of carbon fiber cost effectively, through improvement of yield, hindrance of liquid crystalline hydrocarbon formation and development of continuous process of precursor pitch. However, the results of both works still could not meet the market demand in terms of productivity and production cost. One of the major reason why is because carbonization/graphitization process at high temperature is essential in conversion process

During my research on anisotropic hydrocarbon grain, raman spectra of fusible liquid crystalline hydrocarbon showed G-band, which is similar to carbon/graphite material. This indicated the possibility of formation of carbon rich properties without conversion. Also, from my research which showed that radical vulcanized archipelago of aromatic series have steric effect on stacking phenomena between aromatic plates and inhibit π-πinteraction, I could see the possibility of organic synthetic approach for carbon-rich structure without carbonization process.

In fact, from a literature review on chemical synthesis of graphene nanoribbon, I became interested in the similarity of organic synthetic approach of graphene nanoribbon and chemical reaction of asphaltene-like molecules for petroleum pitch production. For example, polymerization between heavy aromatic molecules and molecular planarization due to cyclodehydrogenation are used in synthesis process for enhanced processing of isotropic pitch and carbon yield. From such similarity, I believe that bottom-up synthesis of aromatic compound may be the stepping-stone in delving into my hypothesis that heavy oil may be converted into carbon rich compound. Refinery industry until today was focused around fuel, such as cracking of heavy aromatic molecule into a much lighter molecule. However, in the aspect of expanding the refinery product to material, making the heavy aromatic molecule much heavier may be an effective approach and such approach may become a new driving force for petroleum/petrochemical industry and research.

I firmly believe that poly aromatic molecules, which take up to 20% of crude oil and a relatively cheap fuel oil, could be developed with synthetic methodology to specialty chemical called Carbon-rich. With rapid development in technology and growing penetration of smart electronics devices, I believe that the rise of “synthesizable carbon-rich material age” is inevitable. As a researcher of carbon material and also as a chemical engineer of heavy oil, I think that petroleum derived synthesizable carbon-rich compound is my lifetime task and a goal as well. I have studied on water synthesis of 2dimentional carbon rich compound at TU Dresden since August, 2016. PhD program at professor Feng’s research group is the chance for me to pursue cutting edge research in molecular level. How to control atoms precisely to construct carbon rich compound with long range order in two orthogonal direction is fascinating art of synthesis and also gives fruitful chance to broaden my chemistry to material science. I wish to not only deepen my understanding but also contribute to the advancement in material age of human beings.

(c) Text by SangWook Park

German-Korean Association “InDeKo” founded in Dresden

The innovative cooperation between Germany and Korea reaches a new level: “InDeKo Innovation Center Germany Korea – The Korean-German Innovation Hub” is the name of a new association, which was founded on Wednesday evening in Dresden. The aim of the association is to bring together Korean and German scientists and companies in all innovation-relevant fields and to form a living platform for them.
At the founding meeting, the renowned physicist Professor dr. Peter Fulde, who has spent half of his time in Korea over the past seven years, where he has built up the Institute for Basic Science. His deputies on the board of the company are the former German ambassador to Seoul. Hans-Ulrich Seidt, Berlin, Managing Director of Solarwatt GmbH Dresden, Detlef Neuhaus, and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Korea, Notary Dr. Christoph Hollenders, Dresden.
The fact that the probably most promising German-Korean platform was founded in Dresden in times of Industry 4.0 and increasing digitization is due to the large concentration of non-university research institutes, the international reputation of the University of Excellence Dresden as well as numerous personalities who are from Saxony for to intensify German-Korean cooperation in areas relevant to innovation.

Dresden, 8 December 2017

Special AFM Seminar by Dr. Sang-il Park, Oct. 18

A special guest from Korea, Dr. Sang-il Park, CEO Park Systems, will hold a talk on the technological innovations and high-level AFM solutions. The seminar takes place on Wed. Oct. 18, 2017, 10 a.m. at TU Dresden, Hermann-Krone-Bau, Room 1.11A (Hörsaal), titled “Automatizing AFM using Self Optimizing Scan Control”.

Dr. Park is one of the early birds in Scanning Force Microscopy willing to share all his experiences and impressions in this field with us. Together with host Prof. Lukas Eng, we will be discussing the application of Atomic Force Microscopy in academic research fields.

You are all cordially invited to attend this seminar.

Delegation from Pohang welcomed at TU Dresden

On Monday, August 7th, a delegation from the city of Pohang (Gyeongsangbuk-do) was visiting Dresden. Both cities are intertwined by their strong collaboration in research and the sister-university status of POSTECH University and TU Dresden. Among many stops, including Fraunhofer institutes and the city hall, they visited the TU Dresden. We were very happy to welcome this group of around 20 interested visitors, mainly from the city administration of Pohang and local universities.
Thomas Lehmann, representing the iEGSEMP network, received our Korean guests in the Ratssaal of the Mechanical Science Faculty with his humble Korean and introduced them to the Success Story of Dresden and the Technical University: DRESDEN concept.
This is already the second time, that such a delegation visited Dresden, and was organised by Prof. Dr. Chun-Shik Kim and Markus Rummele as well as Claudia Müller of the department of International Affairs TU Dresden.

iEGSEMP at the Dinglinger Weinberg (Honorary Consulate of Korea)


German-Korean Graduate School iEGSEMP welcomed by Diplomatic Corps.

We were pleased to be invited by the Honorary Consul of Korea, Dr. Christoph Hollenders and his wife Caroline Hollenders, to watch the annually Dampferparade from their beautiful vineyard “Dinglingers Weinberg”.

The event took place May 1st, one of the first sunny days of the year, and gave us the opportunity to speak to the Hollenders, explore their vineyard, enjoy their home-made wine and watch the steamers on the Elbe! The “Dinglingers Weinberg”, once the home of the court jeweller Johann Melchior Dinglinger, was built around 1700 and it contains the only preserved baroque Ball room in Dresden. It has now been carefully restored and is Dr. Hollenders’ private property.

We are very thankful for the organisation of – and invitation to – this great get together!






Impressions from UNIST

IMG_4392My stay at UNIST is coming to an end. Since arriving here nearly 3 months ago, I observed the end of a presidency, the start of a beautiful spring and the continuation of missile threats. Now, the latter is not much of a topic in Korea and is certainly amplified in western media. But culminating in the impeachment process, it is nice to see a lively democratic
movement in this country and the cherry blossom in April is definitely something you have to see for yourself.
I was warmly welcomed by Prof. Kwang-Soo Kim and his group on day 1 at the Center for Superfunctional Materials. Over the course of two seminars I was able to present and explain the project and goals, which initiated interesting discussions. UNIST, established less than 10 years ago, is a very modern university aiming to attract top researches from all over the world – and as such the Campus is very international. Situated in a charming hilly landscape, the bus trip to the center of Ulsan takes almost one hour. But UNIST is a city by its own – with 5 convenience stores, over 4 cafeterias, coffee shops, stationary store, restaurants… and the list goes on. It is designed to focus.

However, you have to get out to see and feel the Korean culture. High-speed trains and super-punctual express buses are a treat. Ancient capital city Gyeongju, charming Daegu or the vibrant Busan are easy to reach and a must-see visit. Even Seoul is only a 2.5h KTX ride away. Indulge in Korean food and culture. Don’t miss San-nakji (산낙지), daege (대게) or one of the many BBQ places for Dak-galbi (닭갈비) or Samgyeopsal (삼겹살), together with a bottle of Soju (소주) or Makgeolli (막걸리).

I will leave you with some photos and get back to work: After discussing various mesoscopic silicon systems and their importance on future directions of nanoelectronics, we focussed on time-dependent transport calculation. In particular, electron transport in silicon dangling bond circuits. Consider a slab of pure Silicon, with its entire surface passivated by Hydrogen atoms. After removing single Hydrogens (e.g. by Scanning tunnelling microscope techniques), a dangling bond state appears on the (now depassivated) Silicon atom. This electronic state is localised, but can hybridise with neighbouring dangling bond states to extended states – and ultimately: wires. Those silicon dangling bond wires are 1D electronic states on the silicon surface, with an energy right inside the band gap of bulk silicon. Therefor, electron transport selectively through those DB states is possible. Thus, those channels can be used to construct arbitrary circuits: from loops, to logic gates, single-molecule contacts or more. Although many groups started working on this subject, transport properties of those systems are not yet well understood, especially in the time-dependent domain. Voltage pulses or AC fields demand for more sophisticated approaches, such as an extension of DFT to TD-DFT and the time-dependent Keldysh formalism TD-NEGF. Using the latter, we solve the problem by recasting the problem in terms of Green functions, where lot of work goes into adapting this to efficient numerical algorithms, such as the Auxiliary Mode Expansion by A. Croy. After implementation, this algorithm allows us to study the electric response to arbitrary time-dependent fields in real-sized DB systems. This is especially noteworthy, because many of the time-dependent studies are on simplistic toy models. However, multiple approaches exist for time-dependent electron transport. The group of Prof. Kwang-Soo Kim, together with Prof. Geunsik Lee, is specialised in a complementary method, called Dynamical Mean Field Theory, which can be combined with the NEGF approach. This theory allows to study strongly correlated materials, where DFT breaks down. Altogether, we developed a strong expertise on time-dependent electron transport with application beyond toy models, where both project partners complemented each other and pushed the research forward. PhD student Abdoreza Ershadiniai from Prof. Kim’s group will join us in Dresden later this year, further extending our collaboration. I also reached out personally to the other collaborators at UNIST, namely the group of Prof. Hyeon-Suk Shin and Prof. Rodney Ruoff of the Chemistry Department, who are delighted to be part of the project and look forward to the Dresden visits and German visitors.

다음에 또 봐요!

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POSTECH ranks third in THE ranking of Word’s best small universities!


Times Higher Education (THE) has once again revealed the Best Small Universities across the globe, and heard directly from the students at some of those institutions about what they love most about attending a small college. To be eligible for the rankings, universities must appear in Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2016-17, teach more than four subjects, and have fewer than 5,000 students.

POSTECH University, part of our iEGSEMP consortium, climbed to rank 3, just after Caltech (US) and École Normale Supériore (France). THE states:

POSTECH was founded in 1986 as the first research-oriented university in South Korea. Since its inception, it has maintained its small size and reputation by admitting only 320 students every year through a highly selective process.

The structure and operation of POSTECH was inspired by Caltech, and it seems that this system of running a small science and technology research-focused university has worked well for both universities, as both have maintained their top five positions in the 2017 World’s Best Small University ranking.

POSTECH students hail the small classes and the fact that professors know them by name as one of the main reasons why they love studying there.


Click here to read the whole article on THE.

Seminar by Prof. Kwang-Soo Kim (UNIST), Dec. 15th

unist_chemistry_faculty_big_kim-kwang-sooWe are pleased to announce that Prof. Kwang-Soo Kim, one of our partner from UNIST University, is visiting us in December. He will give a seminar talk on December 15th at 1pm in Hallwachsstr. 3, Seminar room.

High-Performance Computing and Multi-Scale Simulations: Predictions for Excited Electrons and Ultrafast Electron-Ion Dynamics in Complex Materials

The success of novel molecular and material design depends on a comprehensive understanding of inherent atomic/molecular properties, interatomic/molecular interactions, and dynamic/transport properties of molecular/material systems. Here I elaborate on the interplay between theory and experiment to design superfunctional carbon-based nanomaterials and nanodevices. These include intriguing organic nanostructures, large-scale graphene, and functionalized carbon hybrid materials for energy harvesting, fuel cells, gas storage, water remediation, and medical treatment. Assembling phenomena of diverse nanostructures and utilization of the resulting unusual functional characteristics as devices are addressed. Selective sensing of fullerenes and fluorescence-sensing of RNA over DNA are achieved with π+-π, π-π interactions and charged hydrogen bonding. The temperature-driven transient molecular gating in covalent organic molecular frames can store gaseous molecules in ordered arrays toward unique collective properties. Using self-assembled nano-scale lenses, hyper-resolution phenomena showing near-field focusing and magnification beyond the diffraction limit are manifested Intriguing nanophotonics phenomena is also addressed. I will also elaborate on a recent development of Pt nanoclusters and nanodendrites in a genomic-double-stranded-DNA/reduced-graphene-oxide. Compared to state-of-the-art catalysts, the as-synthesized hybrid materials display outstanding catalytic activities toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Moreover, the hybrid exhibited a constant mass activity for the ORR over a wide pH range 1-13. Super-paramagnetisim was exploited to remediate water with magnetite in graphene. I also discuss electron/spin transport phenomena in molecular electronic/spintronic devices and super-magnetoresistance of graphene nanoribbon spin valves using non-equilibrium Green function theory plugged in density functional theory. By utilizing Fano-resonance driven 2-dimensional molecular electronics spectroscopy using graphene nanoribbon, the hyper-sensitive quantum conductance spectra of a graphene nanoribbon placed across a fluidic nanochannel can lead to fast DNA sequencing including cancerous methylated nucleobases detection. Along with this line, the development of attosecond spectroscopy to detect electronic motions in attosecond timescale is addressed. Finally, collective properties of liquids and solids are discussed based on ab initio many body molecular dynamics simulations. Phase transitions of materials and the limits of superheating and supercooling of vapor are studied with Monte Carlo simulations using microscopic models with configurational enthalpy as the order parameter so that water can be harvested in dry and hot conditions.

About the speaker

Kwang S. Kim is currently a Professor of chemistry, an Adjunct Professor in physics, and the Director of the Center for Superfunctional Materials of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied chemistry from Seoul National University and another M.S. degree in physics from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He spent a few years as an IBM Postdoctoral Fellow and as a Research Assistant Professor at Rutgers University. He joined POSTECH in 1988 (until Feb. 2014, Professor, POSTECH Fellow). He is a Fellow of the Korea Academy of Science and Technology. He is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, C (Am. Chem. Soc.). He has been an Editorial Board Member of various journals including NPG Asia Materials (Nature Publishing Group), Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science (Wiley), Chemistry Letters (Chem. Soc. Japan), Journal of Computational Chemistry (Wiley-VCH), Chemistry – An Asian Journal (Wiley-VCH), and Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (Elsevier). He has been a Conference Board Member of the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemistry and the Asian Pacific Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. His fields of research include investigations of density functional theory, ab initio calculations, nonequilibrium Green function theory, Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations, first principles ground and excited-state molecular dynamics simulations, intermolecular interactions, clusters, molecular recognition, receptors, drug design, bioinformatics, biomolecules, nanomaterials, molecular devices, spintronics, and quantum computing.

Prof. Dr. Hyeon Suk Shin and Youngjin Park visiting TU Dresden

besuch-hyeon-sukYet another Korean-German partnership was established with the visit of the Director of UCRF (UNIST Central Research Facilities) Prof. Dr. Hyeon Suk Shin and his Ph.D. student Youngjin Park in the Physical Chemistry chair of Prof. Alexander Eychmüller (TU Dresden) on the 17th till 20th of October 2016. After a warm welcome, Prof. Eychmüller and his two Ph.D. candidates Christian Meerbach and Christoph Bauer were eager to discuss the organization of the intercultural exchange and the upcoming research with their Korean partners, which will focus on nanostructured monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) for material-efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Firstly focusing on the synthesis of copper chalcogenide Cu2-xA (A = S, Se, Te) nanosheets which will be employed as template in cation-exchange for a variety of 2D TMDs (such as MoA2, WA2, ZrA2, TiA2, etc.). We were then later discussing both groups cooperation Ph.D.student recent results on this topic to extract our overall knowledge and possible cooperating fields. In this both the Korean and German group demonstrated a successful preparation of copper chalcogenide nanosheets. Furthermore we showed different methods of cation exchange and an insight in the schlenk-line technique. To optimize our preparation skills the students worked together on the first cation-exchange in the laboratory.

After a conjoint lunch Prof. Dr. Hyeon Suk Shin presented his groups work on 2D-layered graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and TMDs.

During their stay in Dresden we also showed our Korean visitor the city’s famous sights and provided them with a small tour with some history background. Our guests highlight was the traditional food and beer at local restaurant Brauhaus Watzke.