TThe Seventh U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology:
Nanomaterials and Systems for Nano Energy

Seoul, Korea, April 5-6, 2010


General Information









M.S. Jhon (U.S.A.)
Carnegie Mellon University

J.W. Lee (Korea)
The National Program for Tera-level Nanodevices

Recommendations of the Seventh U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology:
Its Convergence in Energy for Green Growth

Adopted on April 6, 2010

The past decade in scientific development has been classified by mutual and interdisciplinary research initiatives to achieve rapid and sustainable progress. To this purpose, the United States and Korea have been vigorously encouraging a common platform for the exchange of ideas in nanotechnology through our Forums, set up by the recommendations made by the Korea-US joint committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (held on October 30 & 31, 2002 in Seoul). 

Our Forums have been extremely successful in providing a common platform for effective networking between research communities and industries in both countries by identifying potential areas in nanotechnology which can have huge impact. This is evident from major collaboration initiatives established via our efforts and we believe that organizing this meeting has significantly expedited the generation of cutting edge technologies in crucial areas applicable in near future.

The first Forum was attended by 250 participants from both countries and covered a broad range of nano-research areas. The second Forum, held in Los Angeles during February 17th and 18th, 2005, was a topical meeting that focused on nano-manufacturing and educational program development on nanotechnology. The Forum was attended by 32 experts. The third Forum, held in Seoul on April 3rd & 4th, 2006, focused on active devices and systems research in nanotechnology. This Forum was attended by 150 participants from both countries. The fourth Forum, held on April 26th & 27th, 2007 held in Honolulu, focused on the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology and was attended by 36 experts. The fifth Forum dealt with the emerging area of nano-biotechnology focusing on nano-biomaterials, instrumentation technologies, and integrated systems for overcoming critical challenges in biomedicine and delivery of healthcare as well as their EHS and toxicity issues. This Forum was held in Jeju Island, Korea on April 17th & 18th, 2008, and attended by 44 experts. Most recently, the sixth Forum held in Las Vegas on April 28th & 29th attended by 39 scientists, dealt with the emerging area of nano-electronics with emphasis on fundamentals as well as integration of broad research topics.

The present (seventh) Forum held in Seoul on April 5th & 6th attended by 35 scientists and approximately 100 audience in the field of nanotechnology, focused on nanotechnology convergence with energy for green growth to address currently crippling problems faced in energy with a special emphasis on sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies for the future.

The following are the general recommendations of this Forum to ensure the partnership  between these two countries for the continued success in nano-energy research:

(1) We recommend addressing nano-energy technology which incorporates molecular and/or biological solutions by major advances in design applied to green energy through multi-scale approach. 

(2) Support the movement of students and early-career scientists between the collaborative partners. Our Forums aim for participation from established leading scientists to early-career researchers including pre-tenured faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students and utilizing their expertise via seminar series (for senior participants) and research lab tours (junior scientists) one to two days immediately after our Forum. Funding for this type of collaborative global research activity should be available.

(3) The Forum, at and between the annual meetings, will provide a common platform for researchers at all levels in both countries to share their experiences and expertise to enhance partnership in the field of nanotechnology.

 (4) Exchange of graduate students and post-doctoral research associates from both countries should be strongly encouraged and sufficient funding should be allocated as adequate financial support is pivotal in the development of sustainable research. This can also be achieved by establishing frequent joint conferences and professional meetings for researchers in both countries to foster a strong collaboration. Alternative is to set up a joint commission for project funding for constant monetary support.

(5) Identification of host centers to kindle collaborative research as well as establishing summer internship programs for the early career researchers in global environment.

(6) Identifying mutually beneficial areas for both countries, such as electrochemical, mechanical and thermal energy conversion as well as storage, nuclear energy, and lighting & display technologies, and promoting key areas which will tremendously impact emerging technologies.

The followings are the recommendations of this Forum presented in two groups:

Group 1 (Solar)

General recommendations:


  • Commercialization is very encouraging as an emerging company named “First Solar” has produced solar cells costing $ 0.99/watt.
  • The efficiency shows rapid increases in organic photovlotaics (OPVs) upto 7.6% , and concentrated photovoltaics (PVs) in silicon achieve 24% with a tracking system
  • Nanotechnology has revolutionized this area as low cost processes are quickly being developed by using nanoparticles.
  • Low-purity silicon processing has recently been proposed with reasonable efficiency for a flexible application


  • Crystalline solar cell is robust but still expensive
  • There is an urgent need to discover environmentally sustainable, and non-toxic, abundant materials for solar application
  • In case of organic or nanoparticle applications, passivation and reliability still remain concerns.
  • In summary, cost, lifetime, efficiency, and environmental aspects should be considered together for industrial production

What can be done?

Short term:

  • There is a strong possibility to develop organic/inorganic hybrid structures

Long term:

  • Great potential exists in development of nanomaterials as catalysts for solar energy
  • Alternatives to “conventional” PV should be developed to the application stage

How to improve the collaboration?

  • Exchanging graduate students and post-doctoral research associate from both countries should be strongly encouraged
  • Sufficient funding should be allocated to exchange personnel, as monetary issues play a vital role in the development of sustainable research


  • Since the nature of the area is multi-disciplinary, there is no textbook to teach nano-energy science, but public awareness should be increased through strong advertisement and promotion of research

 Social impact

  • Providing  low-cost technologies for necessities such as water purification with solar energy in less-developed countries will have tremendous impact in everyday life of a large portion of human population

Suggestions to the governments

  • Developing frequent meeting programs for researchers in both countires to foster collaboration
  • Improving the possibility of research funding for collaboration in both countries

Group 2 (Non- Solar)

General recommendations:

Achievements and Bottlenecks

  • Significant progress on novel membranes for efficient selectivity and ion transport
  • There has been orders of magnitude increase in turnover frequencies (TOFs) of conventional nanocluster catalysts and as a result, there is a need for transition to nanostructures (metal-organic frameworks, MOFs)
  • Heterogeneous structures for storage, catalysis, and selective transport as well as molecular self assembly in nano-catalysis, electronics, and intercalation have been achieved with significant efficiency
  • Efficient lighting technologies (light emitting diodes, LEDs)
  • Progress in thermo-electrics (beyond ZT factor (efficiency of thermocouple) of 1.0) and device engineering
  • Progress in CO2 capture and storage and in H2 production (non-solar) and storage
  • Nano-sensors and lab on a chip
  • Progress in nano-fluidics

What can be done?

Short term:

  • Next generation of membranes for ion and solute transport
  • Nano optic materials for next generation LED
  • Next generation intercalation materials for enhanced stability, safety, performance in secondary batteries, and super-cap’s can be developed
  • Molecular electronics (nano-ionics)
  • Research towards heterogeneous nanostructured catalysts should be encouraged
  • Self assembly methods
  • Nano-engineering for system design and manufacturing
  • Thermo-electrics (enhancement of efficiency)
  • Sustainable technologies
  • Bio-Nano interfaces for various applications (for e.g., bio-solar, self assembly)
  • Energy harvesting (piezo-nanomagnets etc)

Long term:

  • Nano-bio mimetics for next generation nano-materials
  • Molecular control of electronic structures
  • Scalable nano-manufacturing
  • Controlling morphology at a nano-level
  • Molecular control of selectivity
  • New Advances in Analytical Tools
  • Simulation based Engineering & Science
  • Materials under extreme environment

How to improve the collaboration?

  • Identification of host centers to foster collaborative research is vital
  • Summer immersion programs with class room training can encourage exposure of early career researchers to global environment
  • Joint commission for project funding and collaboration (planning grants for joint workshops) should be set up for constant monetary support for the exchange programs and other projects
  • Novel ideas are still required for promotion of joint activities
  • Identification of areas of mutual interests:

1.        Electrochemical conversion and storage

2.        Mechanical conversion  and storage

3.        Thermal conversion and storage

4.        Environmental (water-air etc)

5.        Nuclear

6.       Conservation and efficiency (lighting & displays)

Suggestions to the government

  • Identifying next generation of nanomaterials: breakthroughs
  • Building nanostructures: assembly and process design
  • Economics and Entrepreneurship Training
  • Cyber-infrastructure ideas (Web-2 techniques for collaboration)
  • Design to system translation
  • Novel analytical tools, assembly techniques, and computation science & engineering

On behalf of the U.S participants

On behalf of the Korean participants

Myung S. Jhon, Professor

Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Jo-Won Lee, Director

Tera-level Nanodevices
Seoul, Korea