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3D Plasmon Antenna Capable of Focusing Light into Few Nanometers
Professors Myung-Ki Kim and Yong-Hee Lee, both of the Physics Department at KAIST, and their research teams have developed a three dimensional (3D) gap-plasmon antenna which can focus light into a space a few nanometers wide. Their research findings were published in the June 10th issue of Nano Letters. Focusing light into a point-like space is an active research field with many applications. However, concentrating light into a smaller space than its wavelength is often hindered by diffraction. To tackle this problem, many researchers have utilized the plasmonic phenomenon of a metal where light can be confined to a greater extent by overcoming the diffraction limit. Many researchers have focused on developing a two dimensional (2D) plasmon antenna and were able to focus a light under 5 nanometers wide. However, this 2D antenna revealed a challenge: the light disperses to the opposite end regardless of how small its beam was focused. To solve this difficulty, a 3D structure had to be employed to maximize the light's intensity. Adopting the proximal focused-ion-beam milling technology, the KAIST research team developed a 3D four nanometer wide gap-plasmon antenna. By squeezing the photons into a 3D nano space of 4 x 10 x 10 nm3 size, the researchers were able to increase the intensity of light by 400,000 times stronger than that of the incident light. Capitalizing on the enhanced intensity of light within the antenna, they intensified the second-harmonic signal and verified that the light was focused in the nano gap by scanning cathodoluminescent images. The researchers anticipate that this technology will improve the speed of data transfer and processing up to the level of a terahertz (one trillion times per second) and to enlarge the storage volume per unit area on hard disks by 100 times. In addition, high definition images of submolecule size can be taken with actual light, instead of with an electron microscope, while improving the semiconductor process to a smaller size of few nanometers. Professor Kim said, “A simple yet ingenious idea has shifted the research paradigm from 2D gap-plasmon antennas to 3D antennas. This technology will see numerous applications including in the field of information technology, data storage, imaging medical science, and semiconductor processes.” The research was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea. Figure 1: 3D Gap-Plasmon Antenna Structure and Simulation Results Figure 2 – Constructed 3D Gap-Plasmon Antenna Structure Figure 3 – Amplified Second Harmonic Signal Generation and Light Focused in the Nano Gap
Professor Kyoungsik Yu Receives the Young IT Engineer Award from IEEE and IEIE of Korea
Professor Kyoungsik Yu of KAIST’s Department of Electrical Engineering is the recipient of this year’s Young IT (Information Technology) Engineer Award that was co-hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Institute of Electronics Engineers of Korea (IEIE), and Haedong Science Culture Foundation in Korea. The award was presented on June 22, 2015 at The Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel on Jeju Island, Korea. The Young IT Engineer Award is given to emerging scientists who have made significant contributions to the advancement of technology, society, environment, and creative education. Professor Yu's main research interests are IT, energy, and imaging through miniaturization and integration of optoelectronic devices. His contribution to academic and technological development is reflected in his publication of more than 100 papers in international journals and conferences, which were cited over 2,200 times. Professor Yu said, “I’m honored to receive this award and am encouraged by it. I also find the award meaningful because the United Nations has designated this year as the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies,” the field I have been involved in as a researcher.” In addition to Korea, the IEEE has jointly hosted and presented this award to researchers in countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Singapore, and Italy.
KAIST to support the Genetic Donguibogam Research Project for global market entry of a new natural drug produced by Green Cross Corporation HS
In the wake of the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), sales of immune-enhancing products in Korea such as red and white ginseng have risen dramatically. Ginseng is one of Korea’s major health supplement it exports, but due to the lack of precise scientific knowledge of its mechanism, sales of ginseng account for less than 2% of the global market share. The Genetic Donguibogam Research Project represents a group of research initiatives to study genes and environmental factors that contribute to diseases and to discover alternative treatments through Eastern medicine. The project is being led by KAIST’s Department of Bio & Brain Engineering Professor Do-Heon Lee. Professor Lee and Chief Executive Officer Young-Hyo Yoo of Green Cross Corporation HS, a Korean pharmaceutical company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), as well as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to develop a naturally derived drug with an enhanced ginsenoside, pharmacological compounds of ginseng, for the global market entry of BST204 on June 10, 2015. Donguibogam is the traditional Korean source for the principles and practice of Eastern medicine, which was compiled by the royal physician Heo Jun and first published in 1613 during the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. Cooperating with Green Cross Co., HS, KAIST researchers will use a multi-component, multi-target (MCMT)-based development platform to produce the new natural drug, BST204. This cooperation is expected to assist the entry of the drug into the European market. Green Cross Co., HS has applied a bio-conversion technique to ginseng to develop BST204, which is a drug with enhanced active constituent of aginsenosides. The drug is the first produced by any Korean pharmaceutical company to complete the first phase of clinical trials in Germany and is about to start the second phase of trials. Professor Do-Heon Lee, the Director of the project said, “Genetic Donguibogam Research Project seeks to create new innovative healthcare material for the future using integrated fundamental technologies such as virtual human body computer modelling and multi-omics to explain the mechanism in which natural ingredients affect the human body.” He continued, “Especially, by employing the virtual human body computer modelling, we can develop an innovative new technology that will greatly assist Korean pharmaceutical industry and make it the platform technology in entering global markets.” Young-Hyo Yoo, the CEO of Green Cross Co., HS, said, “For a new naturally derived drug to be acknowledged in the global market, such as Europe and the US, its mechanism, as well as its effectiveness and safety, should be proven. However, it is difficult and costly to explain the mechanism in which the complex composition of a natural substance influences the body. Innovative technology is needed to solve this problem.” Professor Do-Heon Lee (left in the picture), the Director of Genetic Donguibogam Research Project, stands abreast Young-Hyo Yoo (right in the picture), the CEO of Green Cross Co., HS.
Hierarchically-Porous Polymers with Fast Absorption
KAIST's Professor Myungeun Seo and his research team from the Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology has developed a method to form micropores of less than 2 nanometers within porous polymers where 10 nanometers long mesopores connect like a net. The advantage of the porous polymers is fast absorption of molecules. Porous polymers with micropores of less than 2 nanometers, like a zeolite, have a large surface area. They are used as a means to store hydrogen-based molecules or as a catalytic support that can be used as a surface to convert a material into a desired form. However, because the size of the pores in its path was too small for the molecules, it took a long time to spread into the pores and reach the surface. To reach the surface efficiently, a lung cell or the vein of a leaf has a structure wherein the pores are subdivided into different sizes so that the molecule can spread throughout the organ. A technology that can create not only micropores but also bigger pores was necessary in order to create such structure. The research team solved the issue by implementing a "self-assembly" of block polymers to easily form a net-like nanostructure from mesopores of 10 nanometers. The team created hierarchically-porous polymers consisting of two different types of pores by using a hypercrosslinking reaction along with the "self-assembly" method. The reaction creates micropores within the chain after the polymer chain is confined by a chemical bond. This porous polymer has micropores that are smaller than 2 nanometers on the walls of mesopores while 10 nanometers long mesopores forming 3-dimensional net structures. Because of the "self-assembly" method, the size of mesopores can be adjusted within the range of 6 to 15 nanometers. This is the first case where a porous polymer has both well-defined mesopores and micropores. The research team verified the effect of hierarchically-porous structures on absorption of molecules by confirming that the porous polymer had faster absorption speeds than a polymer consisting only of micropores. Professor Seo said, “The study has found a simple way to create different sizes of pores within a polymer.” He expected that the hierarchically-porous polymers can be used as a catalytic support in which fast diffusion of molecules is essential, or for molecule collection. The research was sponsored by National Research Foundation of Korea and published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Figure 1 – Net-like Structure of Hierarchically-Porous Polymers with Mesopores and Micropores on the walls of Mesopores. Figure 2 - Hierarchically-Porous Polymers Figure 3 – Comparison of Porous-Polymers consisting of Mesopores only (left), and Mesopores and Micropores (right)
A Key Signal Transduction Pathway Switch in Cardiomyocyte Identified
A KAIST research team has identified the fundamental principle in deciding the fate of cardiomyocyte or heart muscle cells. They have determined that it depends on the degree of stimulus in β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway in the cardiomyocyte to control cells' survival or death. The findings, the team hopes, can be used to treat various heart diseases including heart failure. The research was led by KAIST Department of Bio and Brain Engineering Chair Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho and conducted by Dr. Sung-Young Shin (lead author) and Ph.D. candidates Ho-Sung Lee and Joon-Hyuk Kang. The research was conducted jointly with GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) Department of Biological Sciences Professor Do-Han Kim’s team. The research was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea, and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The paper was published in Nature Communications on December 17, 2014 with the title, “The switching role of β-adrenergic receptor signalling in cell survival or death decision of cardiomyocytes.” The β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway can promote cell survival (mediated by β2 receptors), but also can result in cell death by inducing toxin (mediated by β1 receptors) that leads to various heart diseases including heart failure. Past attempts to identify the fundamental principle in the fate determining process of cardiomyocyte based on β-adrenergic receptor signalling concluded without much success. The β-adrenergic receptor is a type of protein on the cell membrane of cardiomyocyte (heart muscle cell) that when stimulated by neurohormones such as epinephrine or norepinephrine would transduce signals making the cardiomyocyte contract faster and stronger. The research team used large-scale computer simulation analysis and systems biology to identify ERK* and ICER** signal transduction pathways mediated by a feed-forward circuit as a key molecular switch that decides between cell survival and death. Weak β-adrenergic receptor stimulations activate ERK signal transduction pathway, increasing Bcl-2*** protein expression to promote cardiomyocyte survival. On the other hand, strong β-adrenergic receptor stimulations activate ICER signal transduction pathway, reducing Bcl-2 protein expression to promote cardiomyocyte death. Researchers used a systems biology approach to identify the mechanism of B-blocker****, a common drug prescribed for heart failure. When cardiomyocyte is treated with β1 inhibitor, strong stimulation on β-adrenergic receptor increases Bcl-2 expression, improving the chance of cardiomyocyte survival, a cell protection effect. Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho said, “This research used systems biology, an integrated, convergence research of IT (information technology) and BT (biotechnology), to successfully identify the mechanism in deciding the fate of cardiomyocytes based on the β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway for the first time. I am hopeful that this research will enable the control of cardiomyocyte survival and death to treat various heart diseases including heart failure.” Professor Cho’s team was the first to pioneer a new field of systems biology, especially concerning the complex signal transduction network involved in diseases. Their research is focused on modelling, analyzing simulations, and experimentally proving signal pathways. Professor Cho has published 140 articles in international journals including Cell, Science, and Nature. * ERK (Extracellular signal-regulated kinases): Signal transduction molecule involved in cell survival ** ICER (Inducible cAMP early repressor): Signal transduction molecule involved in cell death *** Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma 2): Key signal transduction molecule involved in promotion of cell survival **** β-blocker: Drug that acts as β-adrenergic receptor inhibitor known to slow the progression of heart failure, hence used most commonly in medicine. Picture: A schematic diagram for the β-AR signalling network
Broadband and Ultrathin Polarization Manipulators Developed
Professor Bumki Min from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST has developed a technology that can manipulate a polarized light in broadband operation with the use of a metamaterial. It is expected that this technology will lead to the development of broadband optical devices that can be applied to broadband communication and display. When an object or its structure is analyzed by using a polarized light such as a laser, the results are generally affected by the polarized state of the light. Therefore, in an optics laboratory, the light is polarized by various methods. In such cases, researchers employ wave plates or photoactive materials. However, the performance of these devices depend vastly on wavelength, and so they are not suitable to be used as a polarizer, especially in broadband. There were many attempts to make artificial materials that are very photoactive by using metamaterials which have a strong resonance. Nonetheless, because the materials had an unavoidable dispersion in the resonance frequency, they were not adequate for broadband operation. Professor Min’s research team arranged and connected helical metamaterials that are smaller than the wavelength of light. They verified theoretically and experimentally that polarized light can be constantly rotated regardless of the wavelength by super-thin materials that have thickness less than one-tenth of the wavelength of the light. The experiment which confirmed the theory was conducted in the microwave band. Broadband polarized rotational 3D metamaterials were found to rotate the polarized microwave within the range of 0.1 GHz to 40 GHz by 45 degrees regardless of its frequency. This nondispersive property is quite unnatural because it is difficult to find a material that does not change in a wide band. In addition, the research team materialized the broadband nondispersive polarized rotational property by designing the metamaterial in a way that it has chirality, which determines the number of rotations proportional to the wavelength. Professor Min said, “As the technology is able to manipulate ultrathin polarization of light in broadband, it will lead to the creation of ultra-shallow broadband optical devices.” Sponsored by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea, this research was led by a PhD candidate, Hyun-Sung Park, under the guidance of Professor Min. The research findings were published online in the November 17th issue of Nature Communications. Figure 1 – Broadband and Ultrathin Polarization Manipulators Produced by 3D Printer Figure 2 – Concept of Broadband and Ultrathin Polarization Manipulators
President Steve Kang will serve as the Chairman of Global Agenda Council on the Future of Electronics of the World Economic Forum
President Steve Kang of KAIST has been appointed to the Chairman of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) on the Future of Electronics of the World Economic Forum (WEF). He will serve the position for two years until September 2016. President Kang and WEF council members co-hosted, with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Future Circles Initiative, a future-focused, innovative brainstorming conference to help find strategies and ideas for the development of UAE. The conference took place on November 11-12, 2014 at the Mina Al Salam Hotel in Dubai. WEF has about 80 GACs. Each council consists of 15 experts and thought leaders from the academia, industry, government, business, and non-profit sector and deals with specific issues that are important and relevant to the global community such as ageing, artificial intelligence and robotics, brain research, food and nutrition security, education, social media, and future of chemicals, advanced materials and biotechnology. President Kang was recognized for his contribution to the advancement of science and higher education as an engineer, scholar, and professor. He led the development of the world’s premier CMOS 32-bit microprocessors while working at the AT&T Bell Laboratories. He also taught and conducted research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. President Kang served as the chancellor of the University of California at Merced from March 2007 to June 2011.
KAIST Registers an Internationally Recognized Standard Patent
A video compression technology, jointly developed by Professor Mun-Chul Kim of the Department of Electrical Engineering at KAIST, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), and the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), is registered internationally as the standard patent in the next-generation High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). HEVC (H.265) is an international technology standard that compresses large image data for Ultra High Definition (UHD) televisions and smartphones. It has the twice the compression efficiency as that of H.264/AVC which is most commonly used for processing full HD sources. This means that it is able to compress a video file to half the size while maintaining the same image quality. Although the related market is at a nascent stage, HEVC technology has already been applied to the latest version of televisions and smartphones. Experts predict that the market will grow to USD 200 billion by 2016, and KAIST is expected to receive a royalty payment of USD 9.3 million from this patent. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO/IEC) established the HEVC standard in January 2013. Also, an international patent pool licensing corporation, MPEG LA announced the HEVC standard patent pool on September 29, 2014. Professor Joongmyeon Bae, Dean of the Office of University-Industry Cooperation (OUIC) of KAIST, said, “This is an unprecedented case for Korea whereby a core technology developed by a university became an international standard, which has a vast impact on the market.” President of KAIST, Steve Kang commented, “With its advanced technology, KAIST joined the HEVC standard patent pool as one of the 23 founding members along with Apple, Siemens, and NEC. This is a remarkable achievement.” Picture 1: Improvements in video compression technology Picture 2: Comparison of different screen resolutions
Development of a Photonic Diode with Light Speed, Single-Direction Transfer
A photonic diode using a nitride semiconductor rod can increase the possibility of developing all-optical integrated circuits, an alternative to conventional integrated circuits. Professor Yong-Hoon Cho's research team from the Department of Physics, KAIST, developed a photonic diode which can selectively transfer light in one way, using semiconductor rods. The photonic diode has a diameter of hundreds of nanometers (nm) and a length of few micrometers. This size enables its use in large-scale integration (LSI). The diode’s less sensitivity towards polarized light angle makes it more useful. In an integrated circuit, a diode controls the flow of electrons. If this diode controls light rather than electrons, data can be transferred at high speed, and its loss is minimized to a greater extent. Since these implementations conserve more energy, this is a very promising future technology. However, conventional electronic diodes, made up of asymmetric meta-materials or photonic crystalline structures, are large, which makes them difficult to be used in LSI. These diodes could only be implemented under limited conditions due to its sensitivity towards polarized light angle. The research team used nitride semiconductor rods to develop a highly efficient photonic diode with distinct light intensities from opposite ends. The semiconductor rod yields different amount of energy horizontally. According to the research team, this is because the width of the quantum well and its indium quantity is continuously controlled. Professor Cho said, "A large energy difference in a horizontal direction causes asymmetrical light propagation, enabling it to be operated as a photonic diode." He added that “If light, instead of electrons, were adopted in integrated circuits, the transfer speed would be expected as great as that of light.” The research findings were published in the September 10th issue of Nano Letters as the cover paper. Under the guidance of Professor Cho, two Ph.D. candidates, Suk-Min Ko and Su-Hyun Gong, conducted this research. This research project was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea and KAIST’s EEWS (energy, environment, water, and sustainability) Research Center. Figure Description: Computer simulated image of photonic diode made of semiconductor rod implemented in an all-optical integrated circuit
Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee Participates in the 2014 Summer Davos Forum
Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, was invited to lead four sessions at the Annual Meeting 2014, the World Economic Forum, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, which was held in Tianjin, China, from September 10th to 12th. Two of the four sessions Professor Lee participated in were held on September 10th. At the first session entitled “Biotechnology Ecosystem,” he examined with other panelists the future of bioengineering in depth and discussed major policies and industry trends that will be necessary for the development of future biotechnologies. Professor Lee later attended the “Strategic Shifts in Healthcare” session as a moderator. Issues related to transforming the health industry such as the next-generation genomics, mobile health and telemedicine, and wearable devices and predictive analytics were addressed. On September 12, Professor Lee joined the “IdeasLab with KAIST” and gave a presentation on nanotechnology. There was a total of ten IdeasLab sessions held at the Summer Davos Forum, and KAIST was the only Korean university ever invited to host this session. In addition to Professor Lee’s presentation, three more presentations were made by KAIST professors on such topics as “Sustainable Energy and Materials” and “Next-generation Semiconductors.” Lastly, Professor Lee participated in the “Global Promising Technology” session with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council members. At this session, he explained the selection of the “World’s Top 10 Most Promising Technologies” and “Bio Sector’s Top 10 Technologies” and led discussions about the “2015 Top 10 Technologies” with the council members. The Davos Forum has been announcing the “World’s Top 10 Most Promising Technologies” since 2012, and Professor Lee has played a key role in the selection while working as the Chairman of Global Agenda Council. The selection results are presented at the Davos Forum every year and have attracted a lot of attention from around the world.
Opening of "Education Donation Center" for Knowledge Sharing
KAIST is a leader in knowledge-sharing services for the educationally underprivileged. KAIST held the opening ceremony of the Education Donation Center at its Munji Campus on July 4, 2014 and was appointed as a “2014 Chungcheong-Gangwon province model local education donation center” sponsored by the Education Ministry of Korea and Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity. The Education Donation Center (EDC) will integrate programs run by the Chungcheong-Gangwon province education donation organizations and introduce them to local chapter organizations. The EDC will recommend new donation organizations to the organizations in need. To ensure efficient donation, the EDC will consult programs of donation organizations. The EDC will also suggest regionally suitable education donation programs. KAIST will provide three staff members, six graduate students, and one to manage the career counselor to the center. Joo-Sung Lee of the Business & Technology Management Department is the professor in charge of the EDC. He explained, “The center is the medium between the newly participating education donation organizations and the demand organizations. I will invest every effort to provide high-quality educational benefits to educationally underprivileged people." KAIST has also been running an education service group called ‘Midam Scholarship’, an online education donation group called ‘Chalk’, and science camp programs for youth to establish the sharing and collaboration culture of KAIST.
Professor Jae-Kyu Lee Elected to Head the Association for Information Systems
Jae Kyu Lee, HHI (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Co., Ltd.) Chair Professor, College of Business at KAIST, was elected to lead the world major academic society, Association for Information Systems (AIS), from July 2015 to June 2016. Professor Lee will be the first Korean to serve the organization as president. From July 2014 to June 2015, he will serve as president-elect. Currently, Professor Lee is the Director of EEWS (Energy, Environment, Water, and Sustainability) Research Center at KAIST, focusing on research and development in finding solutions to critical issues facing humanity. He also played a pivotal role in the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between HHI and KAIST in June 2013 to establish HHI-KAIST EEWS Research Center within the KAIST campus. The AIS is the premier professional association for individuals and organizations who lead the research, teaching, practice, and study of information systems worldwide. A news article on his appointment: Asian Scientist, May 16, 2014 Korean Engineer To Lead The Association For Information Systems http://www.asianscientist.com/academia/korean-engineer-lead-association-information-systems-2014/
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