Dr. Jun-Yeop, Yeo and the research team led by Professor Seung-Hwan, Ko (both of the Department of Mechanical Engineering) successfully developed a process enabling the location-determinable, ultra high speed synthesis of nanomaterials using concentrated laser beams.
The result of the research effort was published as the frontispiece in the July 9th issue of Advanced Functional Materials, a world renowned material science and engineering academic journal.
Application of the technology reduced the time needed to process nanomaterial synthesis from a few hours to a mere five minutes. In addition, unlike conventional nanomaterial synthesis processes, it is simple enough to enable mass production and commercialization.
Conventional processes require the high temperatures of 900~1,000 °C and the use of toxic or explosive vapors. Complex processes such as separation after synthesis and patterning are needed for application in electronic devices. The multi-step, expensive, environmentally unfriendly characteristics of nanomaterial synthesis served as road blocks to its mass production and commercialization.
Exposing the precursor to concentrated continuous laser beam (green wavelength) resulted in the synthesis of nanowires in the desired location; the first instance in the world to accomplish this feat. The technology, according to the research team, makes possible the production, integration and patterning of nanomaterials using a single process. Applicable to various surfaces and substrates, nanowires have been successfully synthesized on flexible plastic substrates and controlled patterning on the surface of 3-dimensional structures.
Dr. Yeo commented that the research effort has “yielded the creation of a nanomaterial synthesis process capable of synthesis, integration, pattern, and material production using light energy” and has “reduced the synthesis process time of nanomaterial to one tenths of the conventional process.” Dr. Yeo continues to devise steps to commercialize the new multifunctional electronic material and methods for mass production.
The research effort, led by Dr. Yeo and Professor Ko, received contribution from Professor Hyung-Jin Sung (KAIST Department of Mechanical Engineering), Seok-Joon Hong, a Ph.D. candidate, Hyun-Wook Kang, also a Ph.D. candidate, Professor Costas Grigoropoulos of UC Berkeley, and Dr. Dae Ho Lee. In addition, the team received support from the National Research Foundation, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Global Frontier Program, and KAIST EEWS.
Picture I: Synthesized nanomaterials produced at a desirable location by laser beams
Picture 2: Synthesized nanomaterials built on the 3D structure by using the developed technology
Picture 3: Functional electric circuit made with synthesized nanomaterials
Picture 4: Cover page of July 9th issue of Advanced Functional Materials
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