Professor Dong June AHN
College of Engineering, Korea University
Water freezing is a commonly observed natural phenomenon; however, ice growth and recrystallization can critically damage living organisms. Nature has evolved to produce antifreeze proteins (AFPs) to survive this freezing threat. Their specific amino acid sequence has been widely accepted to play a critical role in binding to ice, which can result in antifreeze activity when the Kelvin effect is dominant at the ice interface. On the contrary, ice-binding surfaces can also lead to heterogeneous ice nucleation when the appropriate chemical and dimensional aspects are satisfied. Ice nucleation proteins and their mimics possess a large ice-binding surface, which facilitates the organization of surrounding water molecules in an ice-like lattice that could promote ice nucleation. Both phenomena, which require ice-binding characteristics in common, demand distinct design protocols, and thus active materials have been developed by tailoring them for respective purposes. In this presentation, mimicking the unique ice-activity of proteins, we will address recent achievements based on tailoring the hydrogen-bonding nature at the water-ice interface by use of nano-assemblies with topological engineering.
Dong June AHN received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Seoul National University, South Korea, and his Ph. D. degree in the field of interfacial engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, USA. He worked as a research scientist at the Center for Advanced Materials of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA. He joined in 1995 the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Korea University, where he is a full professor. He was the Deans of the KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science & Technology and the Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Korea University, during 2019-21.
He served as the President of the Korean Society for Nanomedicine (2015-16), and the Chair of the Polymer Division of the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers (2015-17), the Chair of the Colloid & Molecular Assembly Division of the Polymer Society of Korea (2019-20), the Program Chair of the Nano Korea 2020, and the Secretary General of the 48th World Polymer Congress-IUPAC Macro 2020+ (2021). He was inducted as the Fellow of both the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK). He is also a council member and national representative of the Pacific Polymer Federation since 2020. He is currently the Director of the water:ice Interface Augmentation Center, a future materials discovery program supported by NRF, Korea.
Hosted by: Professor Cho Nam Joon