The physical chemistry division at UNIST consists of four experimental groups and three theoretical groups. Research is focussed on developing spectroscopic and computational tools for understanding the structure of molecules, chemical reactions, and the detailed relation between electronic structures and bulk properties of matter.
Experiments (T. Schultz, Y.S. Kim, B.S. Zhao, O.-H. Kwon)
The research goal of this integrated team is the thorough understanding of a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological phenomena in molecules of various size. Investigated systems range from diatomics in the gas phase to large polymers, proteins, and solid-phase molecular complexes. Unprecedented insight is gained through the development of frontier techniques in the field of physical chemistry, including correlated rotational alignment spectroscopy, 2-D infrared spectroscopy, atom and molecule optics, and 4-D electron microscopy. Functionally relevant mechanisms are probed by observations on a time scale ranging from femtoseconds to seconds and on a size scale ranging from angstroms, via lattice and nano-domains, to the bulk.
Theory (K.S. Kim*, G. Lee, S.K. Min)
Theoretical and computational chemistry plays a crucial role in modern chemistry. Visualization of atomic and electronic motion and quantum mechanical properties, based on computer simulations, provides a nice intuition to understand physical/chemical properties of matter.
Our main interests are: (1) The study of molecular properties involving vibrational motion, electronic excitations, molecular interactions, and chemical reactions in excited states. (2) The development of multi-functional nanostructures with utility for DNA sequencing, water splitting, spintronics, and optoelectronic devices. (3) The development of new theoretical and computational tools to describe intriguing molecular or bulk properties, such as the coupled motion between electrons, nuclei, and / or an environment. (4) The prediction or theoretical rationalization of experimental results.
Based on first-principles calculations, as well as various multi-scale approaches, we exert ourselves on understanding novel chemical and physical phenomena. (*Theory and experiments are conducted in parallel by Prof. K.S. Kim’s group.)