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Professor Il-Doo Kim Receives the Science Minister’s Award
Professor Il-Doo Kim from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering received the Science and ICT Minister’s Award in recognition of his commercialization and technology transfer achievements during the Day of IP celebration. Professor Kim, who has made over 222 patents application and registration home and abroad, has advanced toxic gas detection and breath gas sensor technology by arraying nanosensor fibers. His technological advances in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) helped to advance the commercialization of the MEMS-related sensor and improve its overall competitiveness. He founded the Il-Doo Kim Research Center in 2019 and focuses on the commercialization of nanofiber manufacturing through electrospinning and highly efficient nanofiber filters. For instance, he succeeded in manufacturing a nano-filter recyclable mask that maintains excellent filtering efficiency even after hand washing through the development of proprietary technology that aligns nanofibers with a diameter of 100~500 nanometers in orthogonal or unidirectional directions. Professor Kim also serves as an associate editor at ACS Nano. He said, “The importance of IP goes without saying. I look forward to the registration and application of more KAIST patents leading to commercialization, paving the way for national technological competitiveness.”
Centrifugal Multispun Nanofibers Put a New Spin on COVID-19 Masks
KAIST researchers have developed a novel nanofiber production technique called ‘centrifugal multispinning’ that will open the door for the safe and cost-effective mass production of high-performance polymer nanofibers. This new technique, which has shown up to a 300 times higher nanofiber production rate per hour than that of the conventional electrospinning method, has many potential applications including the development of face mask filters for coronavirus protection. Nanofibers make good face mask filters because their mechanical interactions with aerosol particles give them a greater ability to capture more than 90% of harmful particles such as fine dust and virus-containing droplets. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the growing demand in recent years for a better kind of face mask. A polymer nanofiber-based mask filter that can more effectively block harmful particles has also been in higher demand as the pandemic continues. ‘Electrospinning’ has been a common process used to prepare fine and uniform polymer nanofibers, but in terms of safety, cost-effectiveness, and mass production, it has several drawbacks. The electrospinning method requires a high-voltage electric field and electrically conductive target, and this hinders the safe and cost-effective mass production of polymer nanofibers. In response to this shortcoming, ‘centrifugal spinning’ that utilizes centrifugal force instead of high voltage to produce polymer nanofibers has been suggested as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to the electrospinning. Easy scalability is another advantage, as this technology only requires a rotating spinneret and a collector. However, since the existing centrifugal force-based spinning technology employs only a single rotating spinneret, productivity is limited and not much higher than that of some advanced electrospinning technologies such as ‘multi-nozzle electrospinning’ and ‘nozzleless electrospinning.’ This problem persists even when the size of the spinneret is increased. Inspired by these limitations, a research team led by Professor Do Hyun Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST developed a centrifugal multispinning spinneret with mass-producibility, by sectioning a rotating spinneret into three sub-disks. This study was published as a front cover article of ACS Macro Letters, Volume 10, Issue 3 in March 2021. Using this new centrifugal multispinning spinneret with three sub-disks, the lead author of the paper PhD candidate Byeong Eun Kwak and his fellow researchers Hyo Jeong Yoo and Eungjun Lee demonstrated the gram-scale production of various polymer nanofibers with a maximum production rate of up to 25 grams per hour, which is approximately 300 times higher than that of the conventional electrospinning system. The production rate of up to 25 grams of polymer nanofibers per hour corresponds to the production rate of about 30 face mask filters per day in a lab-scale manufacturing system. By integrating the mass-produced polymer nanofibers into the form of a mask filter, the researchers were able to fabricate face masks that have comparable filtration performance with the KF80 and KF94 face masks that are currently available in the Korean market. The KF80 and KF94 masks have been approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea to filter out at least 80% and 94% of harmful particles respectively. “When our system is scaled up from the lab scale to an industrial scale, the large-scale production of centrifugal multispun polymer nanofibers will be made possible, and the cost of polymer nanofiber-based face mask filters will also be lowered dramatically,” Kwak explained. This work was supported by the KAIST-funded Global Singularity Research Program for 2020. Publication: Byeong Eun Kwak, Hyo Jeong Yoo, Eungjun Lee, and Do Hyun Kim. (2021) Large-Scale Centrifugal Multispinning Production of Polymer Micro- and Nanofibers for Mask Filter Application with a Potential of Cospinning Mixed Multicomponent Fibers. ACS Macro Letters, Volume No. 10, Issue No. 3, pp. 382-388. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00829 Profile: Do Hyun Kim, Sc.D. Professor firstname.lastname@example.org http://procal.kaist.ac.kr/ Process Analysis Laboratory Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering https:/kaist.ac.kr/en/ Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)Daejeon 34141, Korea (END)
Professor Il-Doo Kim Named Scientist of the Year by the Journalists
Professor Il-Doo Kim from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering was named the 2019 Scientist of the Year by Korean science journalists. The award was conferred at the 2019 Science Press Night ceremony of the Korea Science Journalists Association (KSJA) on November 29. Professor Kim focuses on developing nanofiber gas sensors for diagnosing diseases in advance by analyzing exhaled biomarkers with electrospinning technology. His outstanding research was praised and selected as one of the top 10 nanotechnology of 2019 by the Korea Nano Technology Research Society (KoNTRS), the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). Professor Kim was honored with the QIAN Baojun Fiber Award, which is awarded every two years by Donghua University in Shanghai, China to recognize outstanding contributions in fiber science and technology. Professor Kim was also elected as an academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials (APAM) on November 21 in Guangzhou, China. In May, Professor Kim was appointed as an associate editor of ACS Nano, a leading international research journal in the field of nanoscience. In his editorial published in the May issue of ACS Nano, Professor Kim introduced and shared the history of KAIST and its vision for the future with other members of the journal. He hopes this will help with promoting a closer relationship between the members of the journal and KAIST moving forward. “Above all,” he said in his acceptance speech, “the greatest news for me as an educator is that the first PhD graduate from our lab, Dr. Seonjin Choi, was appointed as the youngest professor in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at Hanyang University on September 1.”
Nanofiber sensor detects diabetes or lung cancer faster and easier
Metal-oxide nanofiber based chemiresistive gas sensors offer greater usability for portable real-time breath tests that can be available on smart phones or tablet PCs in the near future. Daejeon, Republic of Korea, June 11, 2013 -- Today"s technological innovation enables smartphone users to diagnose serious diseases such as diabetes or lung cancer quickly and effectively by simply breathing into a small gadget, a nanofiber breathing sensor, mounted on the phones. Il-Doo Kim, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Department at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and his research team have recently published a cover paper entitled "Thin-Wall Assembled SnO2 Fibers Functionalized by Catalytic Pt Nanoparticles and their Superior Exhaled Breath-Sensing Properties for the Diagnosis of Diabetes," in an academic journal, Advanced Functional Materials (May 20th issue), on the development of a highly sensitive exhaled breath sensor by using hierarchical SnO2 fibers that are assembled from wrinkled thin SnO2 nanotubes. In the paper, the research team presented a morphological evolution of SnO2 fibers, called micro phase-separations, which takes place between polymers and other dissolved solutes when varying the flow rate of an electrospinning solution feed and applying a subsequent heat treatment afterward. The morphological change results in nanofibers that are shaped like an open cylinder inside which thin-film SnO2 nanotubes are layered and then rolled up. A number of elongated pores ranging from 10 nanometers (nm) to 500 nm in length along the fiber direction were formed on the surface of the SnO2 fibers, allowing exhaled gas molecules to easily permeate the fibers. The inner and outer wall of SnO2 tubes is evenly coated with catalytic platinum (Pt) nanoparticles. According to the research team, highly porous SnO2 fibers, synthesized by eletrospinning at a high flow rate, showed five-fold higher acetone responses than that of the dense SnO2 nanofibers created under a low flow rate. The catalytic Pt coating shortened the fibers" gas response time dramatically as well. The breath analysis for diabetes is largely based on an acetone breath test because acetone is one of the specific volatile organic compounds (VOC) produced in the human body to signal the onset of particular diseases. In other words, they are biomarkers to predict certain diseases such as acetone for diabetes, toluene for lung cancer, and ammonia for kidney malfunction. Breath analysis for medical evaluation has attracted much attention because it is less intrusive than conventional medical examination, as well as fast and convenient, and environmentally friendly, leaving almost no biohazard wastes. Various gas-sensing techniques have been adopted to analyze VOCs including gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), but these techniques are difficult to incorporate into portable real-time gas sensors because the testing equipment is bulky and expensive, and their operation is more complex. Metal-oxide based chemiresistive gas sensors, however, offer greater usability for portable real-time breath sensors. Il-Doo Kim said, "Catalyst-loaded metal oxide nanofibers synthesized by electrospinning have a great potential for future exhaled breath sensor applications. From our research, we obtained the results that Pt-coated SnO2 fibers are able to identify promptly and accurately acetone or toluene even at very low concentration less than 100 parts per billion (ppb)." The exhaled acetone level of diabetes patients exceeds 1.8 parts per million (ppm), which is two to six-fold higher than that (0.3-0.9 ppm) of healthy people. Therefore, a highly sensitive detection that responds to acetone below 1 ppm, in the presence of other exhaled gases as well as under the humid environment of human breath, is important for an accurate diagnosis of diabetes. In addition, Professor Kim said, "a trace concentration of toluene (30 ppb) in exhaled breath is regarded to be a distinctive early symptom of lung cancer, which we were able to detect with our prototype breath tester." The research team has now been developing an array of breathing sensors using various catalysts and a number of semiconducting metal oxide fibers, which will offer patients a real-time easy diagnosis of diseases. ### Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Hr11dRryg For further inquires: Il-Doo Kim, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, KAIST Advanced Nanomaterials and Energy Laboratory Tel: +82-42-350-3329 Email: email@example.com Clockwise from left to right: left upper shows a magnified SEM image of a broken thin-wall assembled SnO2 fiber. Left below is an array of breath sensors (Inset is an actual size of a breath sensor). The right is the cover of Advanced Functional Materials (May 20th issue) in which a research paper on the development of a highly sensitive exhaled breath sensor by using SnO2 fibers is published. This is the microstructural evolution of SnO2 nanofibers as a function of flow rate during electrospinning.
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