POSTECH News

Professor Jeong Woo Han Selected as Scientist of the Month

2022-10-13 89

[Professor Han has developed an original technology of nanocatalyst synthesis that is superior in performance and stability]

Professor Jeong Woo Han of the Department of Chemical Engineering at POSTECH has won the Scientist of the Month for the month of October from the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea.

한정우교수(en)_뷰페이지Along with the development of high-performance nanocatalyst synthesis, Professor Han’s contributions to advanced research in energy materials design are well-recognized.

High-performing and stable nanocatalyst is a vital material that enhances the efficiency of the process in advanced chemical industry. However, the efficiency of the process slows over time due to environmental factors in the reaction conditions and interactions among reactants. Various studies have been conducted to address this weakness.

Exsolution*1 is a phenomenon in which nanocatalysts high in performance and stability are created on the surface of the metallic oxide material when reduction conditions are met without needing to have a more specialized process. Developing a nanocatalyst through controlling the exsolution is considered a clean energy technology for the future. However, there has been a challenge in the energy material design as the process that forms high-performance nanocatalysts was unknown.

The research team led by Professor Han proved that high-performance nanocatalysts can be synthesized by adjusting the exsolution of positive ions inside the perovskite*2 structure, a metallic oxide material, while also discovering that this method of synthesis increases the activation of catalysts up to four times.

The research also proposed a new methodology for developing materials after a successful demonstration through theoretical verification with computer simulation-based experiments and thin film experiments. The findings from the study were highlighted on the front cover of the 10th edition of Energy & Environmental Science in 2020.

Professor Jeong Woo Han commented, “High-performance nanocatalysts can be used to reduce exhaust gas and to extend fuel-cell life, as well as to produce, store and utilize hydrogen energy.” He added, “I hope that the research would be broadly applied to the academics and industrial fields.”

Scientist of the Month is an award granted from the Ministry of Science and ICT.each month to one researcher whose research has contributed to the advancement of science and technology. The prize is 10 million won (USD 7,000).


1.Exsolution
A process that heats metal mixtures to separate the components.

2. Perovskite
A material with a tetrahedral, octahedral, or cubical crystal structure and a metallic oxide that can be nonconductive, semiconductive, conductive, or even superconductive according to the composition of atoms.