Student Success Story

Development of High-Efficiency Solar Battery Material Based on Light-Material Interaction in Quantum Optics

Cho Dae-heum, Ph.D. in Dept. of Chemistry

Dr. Dae-heum Cho earned his Ph.D. (Physics and Quantum Chemistry) in February 2017 with the dissertation entitled 「A DFT Approach for the Systematic Design of High-Spin Organic Magnetic Molecules」 (Academic Adviser: Jin-Yong Lee). After that, he served as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine, and an assistant professor of chemistry at Hanlim University in March 2021. From September 2021, he will be serving as an assistant professor of chemistry at Kyungpook National University.

When he was senior at the university, he worked as an undergraduate researcher at Professor Jin-yong Lee's lab. He conducted a research to identify the mechanism of organometallic Catalysis by quantum computation and propose a new catalyst, and published his paper as the first author in an international renowned journal in related fields. While attending graduate school, he visited Japan (2 months at Waseda University), Spain (4 months at Barcelona University), and the U.S. (UC, 3 months at Irvine) to conduct research diligently without fear of challenging new research. As a result, he published the research results in the prestigious international journal as the first author.

During the doctoral program, he conducted various studies and carried out joint researches with experimental research teams using the methodologies for calculating the electronic structure of quantum mechanics, such as the analysis of the magnetic property of organic magnetic materials, the analysis of electrical property of two-dimensional materials, and the identification of TiO2 photocatalyst mechanism.

After receiving his doctorate degree, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the research lab led by Professor Shaul Mukamel at the University of California, Irvine for four years conducting research on multidimensional spectroscopy, super high-speed quantum dynamics, and time resolution X-ray spectroscopy. At the research lab led by Professor Jin-yong Lee, he was able to achieve such a great result in his research by applying the experience of calculating electronic structure of quantum chemistry of various materials to the field of multi-dimensional spectroscopy.

Dr. Cho has published 32 papers in SCI-level journals so far. In recognition of his research results, he has been selected as the "2021 Sejong Science Fellowship," which is supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The "Sejong Science Fellowship" is a project to support young scientists aged 39 or those who obtained their Ph.D. within seven years to grow and settle into key scientific and technological talents by carrying out their desired researches.

Under the theme of "Design of Highly Efficient Energy Materials Using Quantum Optics," Dr. Cho receives a total of 610.55 million won as research funds over the next five years. He is studying the methodology of developing a high-efficiency solar cell material by combining quantum optics, time-resolution spectroscopy, and quantum mechanical electronic structure analysis. After his appointment at Kyungpook National University, Dr. Cho plans to continue to use quantum chemistry to challenge various chemical problems such as identifying quantum dynamics mechanisms, developing electronic materials, and display materials development that occur in photochemical reaction.

So far, 3 masters and 10 doctors (including 4 foreigners) have been produced, and 7 professors (including 4 foreigners) have been appointed as professors (two at major companies' research institutes and one overseas) from Professor Lee Jin-yong's lab.