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Ultrafast Quantum Motion in a Nanoscale Trap Detected
< Professor Heung-Sun Sim (left) and Co-author Dr. Sungguen Ryu (right) > KAIST researchers have reported the detection of a picosecond electron motion in a silicon transistor. This study has presented a new protocol for measuring ultrafast electronic dynamics in an effective time-resolved fashion of picosecond resolution. The detection was made in collaboration with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) in Japan and National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK and is the first report to the best of our knowledge. When an electron is captured in a nanoscale trap in solids, its quantum mechanical wave function can exhibit spatial oscillation at sub-terahertz frequencies. Time-resolved detection of such picosecond dynamics of quantum waves is important, as the detection provides a way of understanding the quantum behavior of electrons in nano-electronics. It also applies to quantum information technologies such as the ultrafast quantum-bit operation of quantum computing and high-sensitivity electromagnetic-field sensing. However, detecting picosecond dynamics has been a challenge since the sub-terahertz scale is far beyond the latest bandwidth measurement tools. A KAIST team led by Professor Heung-Sun Sim developed a theory of ultrafast electron dynamics in a nanoscale trap, and proposed a scheme for detecting the dynamics, which utilizes a quantum-mechanical resonant state formed beside the trap. The coupling between the electron dynamics and the resonant state is switched on and off at a picosecond so that information on the dynamics is read out on the electric current being generated when the coupling is switched on. NTT realized, together with NPL, the detection scheme and applied it to electron motions in a nanoscale trap formed in a silicon transistor. A single electron was captured in the trap by controlling electrostatic gates, and a resonant state was formed in the potential barrier of the trap. The switching on and off of the coupling between the electron and the resonant state was achieved by aligning the resonance energy with the energy of the electron within a picosecond. An electric current from the trap through the resonant state to an electrode was measured at only a few Kelvin degrees, unveiling the spatial quantum-coherent oscillation of the electron with 250 GHz frequency inside the trap. Professor Sim said, “This work suggests a scheme of detecting picosecond electron motions in submicron scales by utilizing quantum resonance. It will be useful in dynamical control of quantum mechanical electron waves for various purposes in nano-electronics, quantum sensing, and quantum information”. This work was published online at Nature Nanotechnology on November 4. It was partly supported by the Korea National Research Foundation through the SRC Center for Quantum Coherence in Condensed Matter. For more on the NTT news release this article, please visit https://www.ntt.co.jp/news2019/1911e/191105a.html -ProfileProfessor Heung-Sun Sim Department of PhysicsDirector, SRC Center for Quantum Coherence in Condensed Matterhttps://qet.kaist.ac.kr KAIST -Publication:Gento Yamahata, Sungguen Ryu, Nathan Johnson, H.-S. Sim, Akira Fujiwara, and Masaya Kataoka. 2019. Picosecond coherent electron motion in a silicon single-electron source. Nature Nanotechnology (Online Publication). 6 pages. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-019-0563-2
A Mathematical Model Reveals Long-Distance Cell Communication Mechanism
How can tens of thousands of people in a large football stadium all clap together with the same beat even though they can only hear the people near them clapping? A combination of a partial differential equation and a synthetic circuit in microbes answers this question. An interdisciplinary collaborative team of Professor Jae Kyoung Kim at KAIST, Professor Krešimir Josić at the University of Houston, and Professor Matt Bennett at Rice University has identified how a large community can communicate with each other almost simultaneously even with very short distance signaling. The research was reported at Nature Chemical Biology. Cells often communicate using signaling molecules, which can travel only a short distance. Nevertheless, the cells can also communicate over large distances to spur collective action. The team revealed a cell communication mechanism that quickly forms a network of local interactions to spur collective action, even in large communities. The research team used an engineered transcriptional circuit of combined positive and negative feedback loops in E. coli, which can periodically release two types of signaling molecules: activator and repressor. As the signaling molecules travel over a short distance, cells can only talk to their nearest neighbors. However, cell communities synchronize oscillatory gene expression in spatially extended systems as long as the transcriptional circuit contains a positive feedback loop for the activator. Professor Kim said that analyzing and understanding such high-dimensional dynamics was extremely difficult. He explained, “That’s why we used high-dimensional partial differential equation to describe the system based on the interactions among various types of molecules.” Surprisingly, the mathematical model accurately simulates the synthesis of the signaling molecules in the cell and their spatial diffusion throughout the chamber and their effect on neighboring cells. The team simplified the high-dimensional system into a one-dimensional orbit, noting that the system repeats periodically. This allowed them to discover that cells can make one voice when they lowered their own voice and listened to the others. “It turns out the positive feedback loop reduces the distance between moving points and finally makes them move all together. That’s why you clap louder when you hear applause from nearby neighbors and everyone eventually claps together at almost the same time,” said Professor Kim. Professor Kim added, “Math is a powerful as it simplifies complex thing so that we can find an essential underlying property. This finding would not have been possible without the simplification of complex systems using mathematics." The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Hamill Foundation, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the T.J. Park Science Fellowship of POSCO supported the research. (Figure: Complex molecular interactions among microbial consortia is simplified as interactions among points on a limit cycle (right).)
Two Alumni Win the Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Awards
Vice Chairman Ki-Nam Kim (Left) and Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang (Right) <ⓒ Photo by MSIT and KOFST> Distinguished KAIST Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry and Vice Chairman Ki-Nam Kim of Samsung Electronics were selected as the winners of the “2019 Korea Best Scientist and Technologist Awards” by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST). The awards, which were first handed out in 2003, are the highest honor bestowed to the two most outstanding scientists in Korea every year, and this year’s awardees are of greater significance as they are both KAIST alumni. Professor Chang was recognized for his pioneering achievements and lifetime contributions to the development of carbon-hydrogen activation strategies, especially for carbon-carbon, carbon-nitrogen, and carbon-oxygen formations. His research group has also been actively involved in the development of highly selective catalytic systems allowing the controlled defunctionalization of bio-derived platform substrates under mild conditions, and opening a new avenue for the utilization of biomass-derived platform chemicals. The results of his study have been introduced worldwide through many prestigious journals including Science, Nature Chemistry, and Nature Catalysis, making him one of the world's top 1% researchers by the number of references made to his papers by his peers over four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018. Vice Chairman Kim, who received his M.E. degree from KAIST’s School of Electrical Engineering in 1983, has been credited with playing a leading role in the development of system semiconductors. The awards were conferred on July 4 at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Korea Science and Technology Annual Meeting. (END)
Professor Baik Awarded Sangsan Young Mathematician Prize
(Professor Hyungryul Baik) Professor Hyungryul Baik from the Department of Mathematical Sciences was honored as the recipient of the 2018 Sangsan Prize for Young Mathematicians by the Korean Mathematical Society (KMS). The Sangsan Prize recognizes young mathematicians who finished their degree within the previous five years and have begun an outstanding research career. Professor Baik was recognized for his studies in the fields of low-dimensional topology, geophysical mathematics, and geometric theory. In particular, his Ph.D. dissertation presented a new criterion that completely identifies the hyperbolic surface group, making an inference about the nature of the hyperbolic manifold group. Recently, Professor Baik co-published a paper entitled Spaces of Invariant Circular Orders of Groups with Professor Eric Samperton at the University of California Santa Barbara in the renowned academic journal Groups, Geometry, and Dynamics in 2018. Professor Baik earned his BS at KAIST and finished his MS and Ph.D. in mathematics in 2014 at Cornell University. He joined KAIST as a faculty member last year.
Dr. Sejeong Kim Recognized as Excellent Young Scientist
(Dr. Sejeong Kim) Dr. Sejeong Kim, a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney was honored to receive the Excellence Award for a Young Scientist by the Korea Federation of Women’s Science & Technology Association (KOFWST). The award ceremony will be held on October 31 in Seoul. KOFWST recognizes ten promising young female scientists and engineers every year who show significant potential, passion, and remarkable achievement in their work. The awardees are selected among those who finished their degree within the previous five years. Dr. Kim earned her Ph.D. in physics at KAIST in 2014 and was selected as the winner in the field of physics in recognition of her outstanding research activities in photonics. Dr. Kim conducted various research activities in the field of photonics and was published in high impact journals including Nano Letters and Advanced materials. In July, she developed the first photonic cavity from van der Waals materials and published the study in Nature Communications titled “Photonic Crystal Cavities from Hexagonal Boron Nitride.” At UTS, she carries out research activities supervised by Professor Igor Aharonovich and has engaged in many science outreach activities.
The 1st Korea Toray Science and Technology Awardee, Prof. Sukbok Chang
(Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry) The Korea Toray Science Foundation (KTSF) awarded the first Korea Toray Science Technology Award in basic science to Distinguished Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry on September 19. KTSF was established in January 2018, and its award goes to researchers who have significantly contributed to the development of chemistry and materials research with funds to support research projects. Distinguished Professor Chang has devoted himself in organocatalysis research; in particular, his work on catalysts for effective lactam formation, which was an intricate problem, received great attention. The award ceremony will take place in The Federation of Korean Industries Hall on October 31. KTFS board members, judges, and the CEO of Toray Industries Akihiro Nikkaku will attend the ceremony. Also, Dr. Ryoji Noyori, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will give a talk on the role of chemistry and creative challenges as a researcher.
Professor YongKeun Park Wins the 2018 Fumio Okano Award
(Professor Park) Professor YongKeun Park from the Department of Physics won the 2018 Fumio Okano Award in recognition of his contributions to 3D display technology development during the annual conference of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) held last month in Orlando, Florida in the US. The Fumio Okano Best 3D Paper Prize is presented annually in memory of Dr. Fumio Okano, a pioneer and innovator of 3D displays who passed away in 2013, for his contributions to the field of 3D TVs and displays. The award is sponsored by NHK-ES. Professor Park and his team are developing novel technology for measuring and visualizing 3D images by applying random light scattering. He has published numerous papers on 3D holographic camera technology and 3000x enhanced performance of 3D holographic displays in renowned international journals such as Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, and Science Advances. His technology has drawn international attention from renowned media outlets including Newsweek and Forbes. He has established two startups to commercialize his technology. Tomocube specializes in 3D imaging microscopes using holotomographic technology and the company exports their products to several countries including the US and Japan. The.Wave.Talk is exploring technology for examining pre-existing bacteria anywhere and anytime. Professor Park’s innovations have already been recognized in and out of KAIST. In February, he was selected as the KAISTian of the Year for his outstanding research, commercialization, and startups. He was also decorated with the National Science Award in April by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Hong Jin-Ki Innovation Award later in May by the Yumin Cultural Foundation. Professor Park said, “3D holography is emerging as a significant technology with growing potential and positive impacts on our daily lives. However, the current technology lags far behind the levels displayed in SF movies. We will do our utmost to reach this level with more commercialization."
Park Chosen for Principality of Monaco/ITER Postdoctoral Fellowship
(Jaesun Park in the Integrated Master's and Doctoral Degree Program ) Jaesun Park from the Department of Physics, was selected as a Principality of Monaco/ITER Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient. This program was established by the Principality of Monaco and an international organization, ITER, in January 2008 to support postdoctoral researchers who will be working for ITER. It is a relatively competitive program because it chooses only five people every two years. The selected postdoctoral researchers will be working for ITER for two years while conducting research projects with outstanding researchers in the field of nuclear fusion. ITER, one of the most ambitious energy projects, was launched in 1985 with the purpose of carrying out joint research on nuclear fusion energy. Currently, about 800 people are working for this organization. Seven ITER member countries (i.e. Korea, the European Union, the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and India) are sharing the expenses and engaging in mega-scale science projects. Korea shares 9.1% (20 billion Euro) of the total construction costs of ITER experimental devices. Park will begin his duties in early 2019.
Professor Hee-Sung Park Named Scientist of May
(Professor Hee-Sung Park) Professor Hee-Sung Park from the Department of Chemistry was named ‘Scientist of May’ sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Professor Park was honored in recognition of his developing a tool to engineer designer proteins via diverse chemical modifications. This approach provides a novel platform for investigating numerous diseases such as cancer and dementia. His research focuses on the production of synthetic proteins and the generation of diverse protein functions as well as the designing and engineering of new translation machinery for genetic code expansion, and the application of synthetic biology techniques for basic cell biology and applied medical science. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are constantly taking place during or after protein biosynthesis. PTMs play a vital role in expanding protein functional diversity and, as a result, critically affect numerous biological processes. Abnormal PTMs have been known to trigger various diseases including cancer and dementia. Therefore, this technology enables proteins to reproduce with specific modifications at selected residues and will significantly help establish experimental strategies to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms including the development of targeted cancer therapies. Professor Park also received 10 million KRW in prize money.
Undergrad's Paper Chosen as the Cover Article in Soft Matter
(from left: Research Professor KyuHan Kim and Undergrad Student Subeen Kim) A KAIST undergraduate student, Subeen Kim, had his paper chosen as the cover article in an international journal during his senior year. There have been an increasing number of undergraduate students who were published as the first author because the KAIST Undergraduate Research Participation program allows more active research participation by undergraduate students. Through URP, Kim successfully published his paper in the internationally-renowned journal, Soft Matter, which is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and it was chosen as the cover article of that journal in February 2018. This publication means a lot to him because he designed the cover image himself, based on his imagination and observations. His research is about controllable one-step double emulsion formation. Double emulsion is a system in which dispersed droplets contain additional immiscible liquid droplets. Having great retention ability, double emulsion has been used in various applications in the food industry, in cosmetics, and for drug delivery. Nevertheless, two-step emulsification is a conventional approach to produce double emulsions that typically leads to partial destabilization of the emulsion formed during the initial stage. Hence, it does not ensure the stability of a double emulsion. On the other hand, a microfluidic approach with various flow-focusing techniques has been developed, but it has low production efficiency and thus limited industrial applications. Kim’s results came from the process of phase inversion to solve this problem. He identified the instant formation of double emulsions during the process of phase inversion. Based on this finding, he proposed criteria to achieve high stability of double emulsion. Through constant research, he developed a quite general method using a combination of an oil soluble poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) and hydrophobic silica nanoparticle (HDK H18). This new method enables one-step and stable production of double emersions in a stable manner. It also allows control of the number and the volume of inner oil droplets inside the outer water droplets by adjusting PMMA and HDK H18. Kim enrolled at KAIST as a KAIST Presidential Fellowship and Presidential Science Scholarship in 2014. While studying both chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry he has been developing his hypothesis and conducting research. He was able to begin conducting research because he has taken part in URP projects twice. In his sophomore year, he studied the formation of high internal phase double emulsions. After one year, he conducted research to produce superabsorbent resins, which are the base material for diapers, by using colloid particles. Using partial research outcomes, he published his paper in Nature Communications as a second author. Kim said, “Double majoring the chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry has helped me producing this outcome. I hope that this research contributes to commercializing double emulsions. I will continue to identify accurate principles to produce chemicals that can be controlled exquisitely.” Figure 1. The cover article of Soft Matter
Scientist of March, Professor Hee-Seung Lee
(Professor Hee-Seung Lee) Professor Hee-Seung Lee from the Department of Chemistry at KAIST received the ‘Science and Technology Award of the Month’ awarded by the Ministry of ICT and Science, and the National Research Foundation of Korea for March 2018. Professor Lee has been recognized for successfully producing peptide-based molecular machines, which used to be made of metals. The methodology can be translated into magnetotactic behavior at the macroscopic scale, which is reminiscent of magnetosomes in magnetotactic bacteria. The team employed foldectures, self-assembled molecular architectures of β-peptide foldamers, to develop the peptide-based molecular machines that uniformly align with respect to an applied static magnetic field. Professor Lee said, “Molecular machines are widely used in the field of medical engineering or material science; however, there were limitations for developing the machines using magnetic fields. By developing peptide-based molecular machines, we were able to develop body-friendly molecular machines.” Every month, the Ministry of ICT and Science and the National Research Foundation of Korea award a cash prize worth 10,000,000 KRW to a scientist who has contributed to science and technology with outstanding research and development performance.
KAIST Students Invited to the BNL
Siheon Ryee and Taek Jung Kim, combined Masters and PhD students from the Department of Physics, have been invited to be visiting researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The BNL, located in Long Island, New York, is one of the most esteemed institutes in the United States. Ryee and Kim received the invitation from the Center for Computational Design of Functional Strongly Correlated Materials and Theoretical Spectroscopy. This center was established by scholars who have been leading this field in the United States. The two students will be participating in developing a methodology and code for calculating strongly correlated electronic materials, and a grant of 40,000 USD will be provided to each student. This amount of support is not often awarded to researchers outside of postdoctoral programs. Moreover, they are guaranteed to continue their combined Masters and PhD program and write their dissertations under the supervision of their advisor, Professor Myung Joon Han from the Department of Physics. Professor Han said, “I was impressed by how well-known scholars established the center in order to cooperate with each other to solve challenging problems. Also, I was surprised and happy that my students were invited to this outstanding institute.” “I believe that doing research with leaders in their field will give valuable experience to the students. At the same time, my students will be a great help to the scholars of the institute,” he added.
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