Polymer Electronic Materials Lab
Dae Sung Chung (Chemical Engineering)
The most significant challenge with semiconductor materials lies in integration. The more devices mounted on a given space, the better semiconductors will perform. While companies all around the globe are competing to develop technology to improve the integration of semiconductors, progress has stalled in reducing the line width of semiconductors due to physical limitations, which highlights the need for the development of new technology.
The Polymer Electronic Materials (PEM) Lab headed by Professor Dae Sung Chung at the Department of Chemical Engineering, POSTECH, designs and synthesizes electronic materials and also matches them with an application and releases them to the public. Recently, the Lab has been focusing on maximizing the level of semiconductor integration on the material level. This will lead to the creation of intelligent semiconductors that perform multiple functions as a single device. If a semiconductor is able to serve both as a sensor and a transistor by adjusting itself to the given conditions, just as the Roman god Janus who transitions effortlessly between his two faces, it will give way to the benefits of having two different devices within a single space and will dramatically elevate its level of integrity.
The PEM Lab is committed to developing semiconductors capable of sensing the surrounding environment through the insertion of a molecular switch. As the molecular switch recognizes changes in its surroundings, it results in a change in either the energy level or form and ultimately changes the properties of the semiconductor. This implies that when such a molecular switch is stably inserted into a semiconductor, the semiconductor will demonstrate different properties depending on the surrounding conditions.
One of the Lab’s most successful achievements is the development of an intelligent semiconductor that senses the brightness of the surrounding environment. The present-day organic image sensors that are mainly adopted for cameras deliver higher integrity but are limited when it comes to processing a lot of light. Researchers at the Lab developed technology that transforms a photodiode into a device capable of reading the extremely bright light used for photocopiers in the presence of sufficient light. This technology was patented in the US and is expected to be applicable to a number of industries.
The PEM Lab aims to engineer ultimate intelligent semiconductors that perform the chosen functions according to the given requirements. With diverse molecular switches mounted, a semiconductor can function as a semiconductor at one moment and as a sensor or an energy device the next. Researchers at the Lab strongly believe that the final frontier for semiconductor materials technology will ultimately be about the semiconductor technology that enables multiple transformations in response to such diverse stimuli as temperature and humidity in addition to light.
Head of Lab