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Manipulating Brain Cells by Smartphone
Researchers have developed a soft neural implant that can be wirelessly controlled using a smartphone. It is the first wireless neural device capable of indefinitely delivering multiple drugs and multiple colour lights, which neuroscientists believe can speed up efforts to uncover brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain. A team under Professor Jae-Woong Jeong from the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and his collaborators have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone. The device, using Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful, low-energy Bluetooth, can target specific neurons of interest using drugs and light for prolonged periods. This study was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. “This novel device is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful micro and nanoscale engineering,” explained Professor Jeong. “We are interested in further developing this technology to make a brain implant for clinical applications.” This technology significantly overshadows the conventional methods used by neuroscientists, which usually involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers to deliver drugs and light. Apart from limiting the subject’s movement due to bulky equipment, their relatively rigid structure causes lesions in soft brain tissue over time, therefore making them not suitable for long-term implantation. Although some efforts have been made to partly mitigate adverse tissue response by incorporating soft probes and wireless platforms, the previous solutions were limited by their inability to deliver drugs for long periods of time as well as their bulky and complex control setups. To achieve chronic wireless drug delivery, scientists had to solve the critical challenge of the exhaustion and evaporation of drugs. To combat this, the researchers invented a neural device with a replaceable drug cartridge, which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about running out of drugs. These ‘plug-n-play’ drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe (with the thickness of a human hair), which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs (smaller than a grain of salt), for unlimited drug doses and light delivery. Controlled with an elegant and simple user interface on a smartphone, neuroscientists can easily trigger any specific combination or precise sequencing of light and drug delivery in any implanted target animal without the need to be physically inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers can also easily setup fully automated animal studies where the behaviour of one animal could affect other animals by triggering light and/or drug delivery. “The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been achieved before,” said lead author Raza Qazi, a researcher with KAIST and the University of Colorado Boulder. This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea, US National Institute of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Mallinckrodt Professorship. (A neural implant with replaceable drug cartridges and Bluetooth low-energy can target specific neurons .) (Micro LED controlling using smartphone application)
Seoul Climate-Energy Conference Seeks Global Sustainability
(President Shin and Former UN Secretary General at the Seoul Climate Change-Energy Conference) Global leaders from both the private and public sectors discussed creative ways to seek inclusive green growth and sustainable development at the Seoul Climate-Energy Conference on November 24 in Seoul. The annual conference was co-hosted by KAIST and the Coalition for Our Common Future under the theme “Creating New Momentum for the Paris Agreement and a Sustainable Future.” More than 100 global leaders participated in the forum including the Director General Frank Rijsbermanof the Global Green Growth Institute and Executive Director Howard Bamsey of the Green Climate Fund. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who played a significant role in the signing of the Paris Agreement, was the keynote speaker. This year’s conference focused on Korea’s low carbon-energy transition and the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be aligned with green growth. At the conference, speakers and participants reviewed the progress of the decisions made by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The conference discussed topics of global collaboration for new climate regimes, green energy infrastructure, the Asia super grid, financing green energy, smart green cities, and new mobility. President Sung-Chul Shin emphasized global action and greater resilience toward climate change in his opening remarks. He said, “Today’s climate change can be attributed directly to the past three industrial revolutions. As industrialization continues, we must not make future generations pay the cost of this Fourth Industrial Revolution.” He explained that it is increasingly complicated to address climate change and energy issues because even though the use of energy consumption will continue to increase, energy policies are interwoven with global politics. He stressed three keywords to better address this global problem: innovation, collaboration, and speed. First he emphasized innovation as a priority for future success as it is hard to retain confidence without innovation. He noted KAIST has made sustainability initiatives in the fields of EEWS (energy, environment, water, sustainability) and green mobility. He also noted the importance of collaboration as industries are moving beyond a single discipline. KAIST is making collaborations in R&D and sustainability sectors, such as Saudi Aramco’s CO2 management center in KAIST. Finally, he explained that the speed of new transformation will be beyond our imagination, and governments should work efficiently to address issues in a fast manner. Meanwhile, Secretary-General Ban called for global unity in addressing climate change. He strongly emphasized that countries should make agreements not of willingness but of action, and that politicians should realize that this global agenda should be given top priority above domestic politics. He addressed how the world is experiencing the most powerful and destructive effects of climate change which makes active participation in the Paris Agreement increasingly important. He expressed his concern that the richest and most powerful countries are backing off, emphasizing the role of these countries as both global leaders and top producers of CO2. He also shared his hopes that the OECD will continue to work to fill the absence of the United States, and stressed the importance of acquiring 10 billion USD by 2020 to fund mitigation and adaptation technologies for developing countries’ CO2 emissions. Click for President Shin's opening remarks
2016 KAIST EEWS Workshop
The Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability (EEWS) Graduate School of KAIST hosted a workshop entitled “Progress and Perspectives of Energy Science and Technology” on October 20, 2016. The workshop took place at the Fusion Hall of the KAIST Institute on campus. About 400 experts in energy science and engineering participated in the event. Eight globally recognized scientists introduced the latest research trends in nanomaterials, energy theory, catalysts, and photocatalysts and led discussions on the current status and prospects of EEWS. Professors Yi Cui of Stanford University, an expert in nanomaterials, and William A. Goddard of California Institute of Technology presented their research experiments on materials design and recent results on the direction of theory under the topics of energy and environment. Dr. Miquel Salmeron, a former head of the Material Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Professor Yuichi Ikuhara of Tokyo University introduced their analysis of catalysts and energy matters at an atomic scale. Professor Sukbok Chang of the Chemistry Department at KAIST, a deputy editor of ACS Catalysis and the head of the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalizations at the Institute of Basic Science, and Professor Yang-Kook Sun of Energy Engineering at Hanyang University, who is also a deputy editor of ACS Energy Letters, presented their latest research results on new catalytic reaction development and energy storage. The workshop consisted of three sections which addressed the design of energy and environment materials; analysis of energy and catalytic materials; and energy conversion and catalysts. The EEWS Graduate School was established in 2008 with the sponsorship of the Korean government’s World Class University (WCU) project to support science education in Korea. Professor J. Fraser Stoddart, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was previously worked at the KAIST EEWS Graduate School as a WCU visiting professor for two years, from 2011 to 2013. Professor Ali Coskun, who was a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Stoddart, now teaches and conducts research as a full-time professor at the graduate school. Dean Yousung Jung of the EEWS Graduate School said: “This workshop has provided us with a meaningful opportunity to engage in discussions on energy science and technology with world-class scholars from all around the world. It is also a good venue for our graduate school to share with them what we have been doing in research and education.”
KAIST and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Agree to Cooperate
KAIST signed a cooperation agreement with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) on October 29, 2014 at the president’s office. Established in 1972 and based in Austria as a non-governmental research organization, IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts policy-oriented research into global problems such as climate change, energy security, or population aging. IIASA examines such issues and devises strategies for cooperative action unconstrained by political and national self-interest. Dr. Pavel Kabat, the Director General and CEO of IIASA, headed a delegation that visited KAIST to attend the signing ceremony of the agreement. He said, “KAIST has been known as a leading research university, and its strength in the development of green technology and environmental policy will benefit our institution. In particular, we expect to see vibrant exchanges of knowledge and researchers with the Graduate School of Green Growth (GSGG) and the Graduate School of EEWS (energy, environment, water, and sustainability) at KAIST.” The two organizations will implement joint research projects in the diffusion analysis of green technology, the development and improvement of evaluation models to integrate economy, energy, and environment, the development of an analysis system for water resources, and the establishment of academic workshops and conferences. The Dean of GSGG, Professor Jae-Kyu Lee said, “IIASA is a well-respected international organization with accumulated knowledge about analysis and prediction techniques. With this agreement, we hope that KAIST will intensify its research capacity in environmental science and lead education and research in green growth and environmental technology.” The picture below shows Dr. Pavel Kabat, the Director General and CEO of IIASA, on the left and President Steve Kang of KAIST on the right holding the signed agreement with professors from GSGG and EEWS Graduate School including Professor Jae-Kyu Lee, to the right of President Kang.
Rechargeable Lithium Sulfur Battery for Greater Battery Capacity
Professor Do Kyung Kim from the Department of Material Science and Engineering and Professor Jang Wook Choi from the Graduate School of EEWS have been featured in the lead story of the renowned nanoscience journal Advanced Materials for their research on the lithium sulfur battery. This new type of battery developed by Professor Kim is expected to have a longer life battery life and [higher] energy density than currently commercial batteries. With ample energy density up to 2100Wh/kg—almost 5.4 times that of lithium ion batteries—lithium sulfur batteries can withstand the sharp decrease in energy capacity resulting from charging and discharging—which has been considered the inherent limitation of the conventional batteries. Professor Kim and his research team used one-dimensional, vertical alignment of 75nm tick, 15μm long sulfur nanowires to maximize electric conductivity. Then, to prevent loss of battery life, they carbon-coated each nanowire and prohibited direct contact between the sulfur and electrolyte. The result was one of the most powerful batteries in terms of both energy performance and density. Compared to conventional batteries which suffer from continuous decrease in energy capacity after being discharged, the lithium sulfur battery maintained 99.2% of its initial capacity after being charged and discharged 300 times and up to 70% even after 1000 times. Professor Kim claims that his new battery is an important step forward towards a high-performance rechargeable battery which is a vital technology for unmanned vehicles, electric automobiles and energy storage. He hopes that his research can solve the problems of battery-capacity loss and contribute to South Korea’s leading position in battery technology. Professor Kim’s research team has filed applications for one domestic and international patent for their research.
Technology Developed for Flexible, Foldable & Rechargeable Battery
Flexible, Foldable & Rechargeable Battery The research group of professors Jang-Wook Choi & Jung-Yong Lee from the Graduate School of EEWS and Taek-Soo Kim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST has developed technology for flexible and foldable batteries which are rechargeable using solar energy. The research result was published in the online issue of Nano Letters on November 5. Trial versions of flexible and wearable electronics are being developed and introduced in the market such as Galaxy Gear, Apple’s i-Watch, and Google Glass. Research is being conducted to make the batteries softer and more wearable and to compete in the fast-growing market for flexible electronics. This new technology is expected to be applied to the development of wearable computers as well as winter outdoor clothing since it is flexible and light. The research group expects that the new technology can be applied to current battery production lines without additional investment. Professor Choi said, “It can be used as a core-source technology in the rechargeable battery industry in the future. Various wearable mobile electronic products can be developed through cooperation and collaboration within the industry.”
Ultra-High Strength Metamaterial Developed Using Graphene
New metamaterial has been developed, exhibiting hundreds of times greater strength than pure metals. Professor Seung Min, Han and Yoo Sung, Jeong (Graduate School of Energy, Environment, Water, and Sustainability (EEWS)) and Professor Seok Woo, Jeon (Department of Material Science and Engineering) have developed a composite nanomaterial. The nanomaterial consists of graphene inserted in copper and nickel and exhibits strengths 500 times and 180 times, respectively, greater than that of pure metals. The result of the research was published on the July 2nd online edition in Nature Communications journal. Graphene displays strengths 200 times greater than that of steel, is stretchable, and is flexible. The U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center developed a graphene-metal nanomaterial but failed to drastically improve the strength of the material. To maximize the strength increased by the addition of graphene, the KAIST research team created a layered structure of metal and graphene. Using CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), the team grew a single layer of graphene on a metal deposited substrate and then deposited another metal layer. They repeated this process to produce a metal-graphene multilayer composite material, utilizing a single layer of graphene. Micro-compression tests within Transmission Electronic Microscope and Molecular Dynamics simulations effectively showed the strength enhancing effect and the dislocation movement in grain boundaries of graphene on an atomic level. The mechanical characteristics of the graphene layer within the metal-graphene composite material successfully blocked the dislocations and cracks from external damage from traveling inwards. Therefore the composite material displayed strength beyond conventional metal-metal multilayer materials. The copper-graphene multilayer material with an interplanar distance of 70nm exhibited 500 times greater (1.5GPa) strength than pure copper. Nickel-graphene multilayer material with an interplanar distance of 100nm showed 180 times greater (4.0GPa) strength than pure nickel. It was found that there is a clear relationship between the interplanar distance and the strength of the multilayer material. A smaller interplanar distance made the dislocation movement more difficult and therefore increased the strength of the material. Professor Han, who led the research, commented, “the result is astounding as 0.00004% in weight of graphene increased the strength of the materials by hundreds of times” and “improvements based on this success, especially mass production with roll-to-roll process or metal sintering process in the production of ultra-high strength, lightweight parts for automobile and spacecraft, may become possible.” In addition, Professor Han mentioned that “the new material can be applied to coating materials for nuclear reactor construction or other structural materials requiring high reliability.” The research project received support from National Research Foundation, Global Frontier Program, KAIST EEWS-KINC Program and KISTI Supercomputer and was a collaborative effort with KISTI (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information), KBSI (Korea Basic Science Institute), Stanford University, and Columbia University. A schematic diagram shows the structure of metal-graphene multi-layers. The metal-graphene multi-layered composite materials, containing a single-layered graphene, block the dislocation movement of graphene layers, resulting in a greater strength in the materials.
Joint Research Center on EEWS with Hyundai Heavy Industries Plans to Open
The research center will conduct collaborative R&D projects on energy, environment, water, and sustainability for the next five years.Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilding company, signed an MOU with KAIST for future business development and joint research collaboration. KAIST and HHI signed an MOU as an agreement to establish the “HHI-KAIST EEWS Research Center (HK Research Center) on June 21st.” The major mission of the HK Research Center is to build a strong base for creating future businesses through developing fundamental, core technology in the field of EEWS and designing business models based on the new technology. Toward this goal, HHI will sponsor the R&D budget and operation expenses of the research center for the next five years. Prior to the signing of the MOU, a delegation from HHI, led by the Vice President, Mr. Si-Young Hwang, visited the Office of EEWS Initiative at KAIST and held a workshop. During the workshop, HHI and KAIST agreed to collaborate in fields such as LNG-propelled ships, solar power generation, energy storage, fuel cells, and CO2 capture. KAIST has run a EEWS graduate program that receives government grants over the last five years, with a research emphasis on energy, environment, water, and sustainability, which are crucial issues to humankind in the 21st century. The EEWS program achieved 24 core technological developments and educates more than 200 masters- and PhD-degree students annually. The EEWS program also emphasizes commercializing its research outcomes. Through the annual Business Planning Competition and Investment Drive, there have been eight new companies founded by alumni and professors over the last five years of the program. The HK Research Center will be an excellent foundation for future education and research in EEWS. Professor Jae-Kyu Lee, the head of the HK Research Center and the director of the EEWS Initiative, said, “This event is a benchmarking example of Industry-KAIST collaboration. We hope that the HK Research Center will be a place for disruptive innovations to translate into creative business opportunities.” MOU signed for Hyundai Heavy Industries-KAIST EEWS Research Center
A Substance with Amazingly Improved Efficiency of Capturing Carbon Dioxides Developed
From left to right: Prof.Ali Coskun, Prof. Cafer T. Yavuz and Prof. Yousung Jung - Selectivity of CO2 increased by 300 times in comparison to nitrogen, published in Nature Communications- KAIST EEWS graduate school’s joint research team led by Prof. Cafer T. Yavuz, Prof. Ali Coskun, and Prof. Yousung Jung has developed the world"s most efficient CO2 absorbent that has 300 times higher carbon dioxide selectivity in comparison to nitrogen. Recently, the importance of CCS* technology, which is about capturing, storing and treating carbon dioxides, has begun to emerge world-widely as a practical alternative for the response to climate change. * CCS : Carbon Capture and sequestration Current carbon dioxide capturing technologies are wet capturing using liquid absorbent, dry capturing using solid absorbent and separation-membrane capturing using a thin membrane like a film. For the places like power plant and forge, where the emission of carbon dioxides is huge, the main task is to maintain the capturing efficiency under extremely hot and humid conditions. The previously studied dry absorbents, such as MOF or zeolite, had the disadvantages of instability in moist conditions and expensive cost for synthesis. On the other hand, the research team"s newly discovered dry absorbent, named ‘Azo-COP’, can be synthesized without any expensive catalysts so the production cost is very low. It is also stable under hot and humid conditions. COP is a structure consisting of simple organic molecules combined into porous polymer and is the first dry carbon dioxide capturing material developed by this research team. The research team introduced an additional functional group called "Azo" to the substance, so that it can selectively capture carbon dioxides among the mixture of gas. Azo-COP, which includes ‘Azo’ functional group, is manufactured easily by using common synthesis methods, and impurities are removed simply by using cheap solvents like water and acetone instead of expensive catalysts. As a result, the manufacturing cost has lowered drastically. Especially, Azo-COP is combined with carbon dioxides by weak attraction force rather than chemical attraction so the recycling energy cost for the absorbent can be reduced innovatively, and it is expected to be used for capturing substances other than carbon dioxides in various areas as it is stable under extreme conditions even under 350 degrees Celsius. This research is supported by Korea Carbon Capture&Sequestration R&D Center(Head: Sangdo Park) and KAIST EEWS planning group. Prof. Cafer T. Yavuz and Prof. Ali Coskun said that “when Azo-COP is used for separation of CO2 and N2, the capturing efficiency has increased by hundred times.” He continued “This substance does not need any catalysts and has great chemical characteristics like water stability and structure stability so is expected to be used in various fields including carbon dioxides capturing” Meanwhile, this research is published in ‘Nature’s stablemate ‘Nature Communications’ on 15th of Jan.
3rd EEWS CEO Forum Held
KAIST EEWS (Energy Environment Water and Sustainability) held the 3rd EEWS CEO Forum at KAIST Seoul Campus. EEWS is a research/education project initiated by KAIST to solve the global issues that the world faces including issues such as: energy depletion, global warming, water shortage, and sustainable development. The 3rd EEWS CEO Forum is dedicated to providing the opportunity to share the vision and experience on technology and policy for green growth. The forum was founded in 2011 with active participation from Woo Ki Jeong (Director of Statistics), Choi Kwang Sik (Korea City Airport, Logistics and Travel, CEO), Kang Young Joong (Daekyo Group, CEO), Yoo Kyung Sun (Eugene Group, CEO), all experts in the field of green growth. The forum consisted of presentations and debate on topics such as: international outlook on green growth, development projects based on new renewable energy, battery of electric vehicles, and development of solar cells. Kim Sang Hyup member of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth started off the series of lectures with the topic of ‘International Outlook on Green Growth’. Kim Joong Gyum CEO of KEPCO followed up with ‘the Future of Electricity Generation Industry and Renewable Energy’, Kim Soo Ryung Director of LG Chemicals gave a talk on ‘Electric Vehicles and the Future of the Battery Industry’, and finally Choi Gi Hyuk CEO of SDN Ltd. gave the final lecture on ‘the Inflection Point of Solar Cell Industry’.
Exhibition of Investment Demonstration on EEWS Research Held
- Five winners of business-planning project exhibition hold exhibition towards thirteen Angel Investors. Venture capital firm and industry investors are investing for themselves on the Green Growth Project of KAIST, which strives for solutions of global issues, such as; energy depletion, environment pollution and sustainable development. KAIST awarded the winner of "EEWS business-planning exhibition competition" and held investment demonstration exhibition. The exhibition is opened by the winners of the competition and held towards the firms and inventors encouraging capital on green business project and green technologies. The venture capital firms that participated in this exhibition were; Coolidge Corner Investment, Dae-Duk Investment Corp, KPM, Locus Capital Partners and Bo-Gwang Investment. The industry investors that participated were: Samsung C&T Corp, Cheil Industry, Dasan Networks, Hanhwa L&C, thirteen companies in total. The goal of EEWS Exhibition is to encourage the commercialization of research and development. It was co-hosted by DFJ Athena LLC and Ilshin ventures. The competition was divided into business planning section and business technology section. Grand prize on green growth went to Professor Joong-Myeon Bae who suggested "Eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells", runner-up prize went to "Real-time measuring of NOx on Eco-friendly diesels" by Jin-Su Park, the technology director of CIOS. Grand prize of green technology went to "Highly-refractive, heat resisting hybrimer LED sack’ by Byung-Su Bae, professor of new material engineering, participation award went to ‘ITO-Free touch screen for smart phone’ by Min-yang Yang, professor of the department of Mechanical Engineering. A representative of KAIST said those of the firms and investors who have gone through commercialization showed interest on the creativity and the high level of the product. Jae-Kyu Lee, the head of EEWS who supervised the whole exhibition mentioned that, "EEWS Planning Group is consistently going to come up with innovative results” and that “Angel Investors showed enthusiasm. The representatives of Venture capital firm even considered participating as the jury of the competition in the future.” [Definition] EEWS stands for Energy depletion, Environment pollution, Water shortages and Sustainability, a project for the solution of such global issues promoted by KAIST.
International Workshop on EEWS 2010 was held.
On October 7 and 8th at Fusion Hall of KI Building, KAIST, the 2010 International Workshop on EEWS (Energy, Environment, Water, and Sustainability) was held. The third to be held, forty national and international academic professionals including Mark Shannon, professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Domen Kazunari, Tokyo University professor, Dong Sub Kim, CTO of SK Energy and Doyoung Seung, Senior Vice President of GS Caltex, participated at this year’s workshop. In twelve sessions, themes including Artificial Photosynthesis, Wireless Power Transfer, Green Aviation, Safe Nuclear Fuel Reuse, Fuel Cells in Action, LED 2.0, Foundation of Energy-Water Nexus, and Flexible Battery & Solar Cell were presented and discussed. “Through this workshop, current EEWS policy and research progress from different countries and the future of related technologies will be foreseen,” said Jae Kyu Lee, Dean of KAIST EEWS Initiative. “I hope it became an opportunity to create cooperative relationships with leading researchers.” EEWS is a research project conducted by KAIST to solve global issues that mankind faces today such as depletion of energy, environmental pollution, water shortage, and sustainability.
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