The Ninth U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology:
Exploring New Direction for Convergence of Nano Science to Technology and Application

Seoul, Korea, June 4 & 5, 2012


General Information









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

J.W. Lee
Hanyang University

Recommendations of the Ninth U.S.-Korea Forum on Nanotechnology:  Exploring New Direction of Convergence of Nano Science and Technology to Applications

Seoul, Korea

Adopted on June 5, 2012

The first decade of the 21st century has been characterized by the advent of nanotechnology convergence in a broad spectrum of science and technology areas (NANO1) along with 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 and research collaboration 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 illuminating nanotechnology as a testimony to the transformative power of identifying a concept or trend and laying out a vision at the synergistic confluence of diverse scientific research areas.  These Forums have also provided a common platform for effective networking between research communities and industries in both countries by identifying key areas in nanotechnology which generate huge impact. This is evident from major collaboration initiatives established via our Forums and we believe that organizing this Forum has significantly expedited the generation of cutting edge technologies for the thrust areas in both countries. 

The first Forum, held in Seoul on October 14 & 15, 2003, 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 2005, was attended by 32 experts and covered a topical meeting that focused on nano-manufacturing and educational program development in nanotechnology. The third Forum, held in Seoul in 2006, which was attended by 150 participants, focused on active devices and systems research in nanotechnology. The fourth Forum, held in 2007 at Honolulu, focused on the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology and was attended by 36 experts. The fifth Forum held in Jeju Island in 2008, attended by 44 experts 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. The sixth Forum held in Las Vegas in 2009 and 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 seventh Forum, which was held in Seoul in 2010 attended by 150 participants focused on the fundamentals of energy convergence of nanotechnology by incorporating alternative energy resources. The eighth forum in 2011 was attended by 44 scientists and focused on nanotechnology convergence in sustainability by addressing critical problems faced by an ever increasing global population with an emphasis on environmentally friendly technologies for the future on nanotechnology for sustainability by extending the progress made in NANO1.

The (present) ninth Forum held at Hanyang University on June 4th & 5th, 2012, was attended by 36 eminent scientists and policy makers in the field of nanotechnology along with 40 nanoscience experts present in the audience and focused on laying out a roadmap for channeling nanotechnology to the masses to responsibly address broad societal challenges such as nanoscience fundamentals, sustainability, and state-of-the-art applications for the new generation of nanotechnology products. In contrast to the previous Forms, this Forum heralded new horizons in nanotechnology for the next decade (NANO2) along with integration of the achievements in NANO1 by establishing R&D strategies where nanotechnology is bound to dramatically change the scope.

The following are the general recommendations of this Forum to ensure partnership between the two countries for the continued success in nanotechnology research collaboration:

(1) The Forum will provide common ground for researchers, educators, and administrators at all levels in both countries to share their experiences and expertise to enhance partnership in the area of NANO2.  

(2) This Forum will promote collaborative research between both countries, especially through the early career researchers in a global environment.

(3) All the participants should present and overview their past and proposed collaborations between the two countries.

(4) The collaboration effort should be pursued very strongly by allocating some research funding in the following three areas of nano-convergence: (i) modeling, simulation, and design including nano-informatics, (ii) sustainable nanomanufacturing, and (iii) basic research in graphene.

(5)  Our Forums have been successful in generating close collaborations among small groups so far. In order to have a global impact in the future, bringing together many multi-disciplinary teams to create a major integrated project is necessary; for example, establishment of a í░U.S.-Korea Integrated Nanotechnology Collaboration Centerí▒ (Based on the U.S.- United Kingdom (UK) joint research solicitation between Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and UK) jointly supported by all the governmental agencies involved is recommended.

(6) Collaborations and exchanges between student researchers in both countries should be promoted since they are future of nanotechnology research.  This can be accomplished by providing funding incentives as well as by emphasizing the prestige of international programs. Korean delegates can collaborate in organizing the 2013 Environmental Nanotechnology Gordon Research Conference. These are highly ranked international interdisciplinary meetings where ground-breaking ideas and innovative collaborations are created.

The following are recommendations made by the two subgroups:

Group 1: Fundamentals and Sustainability for Nanotechnology

Manufacturing methods: Materials

•  Materials synthesis at the nanoscale is quite advanced relative to nanodevice manufacturing.

•  Need for scale-up of synthesis of nanomaterials to commodity scale.

•  Need for chemical and materials process modeling to optimize materials manufacturing (cost, environmental impact, and health impacts)

Manufacturing methods: Devices 

•  Need greater understanding of nanomaterials manipulation

•  What are the limits of fidelity of the self-assembly processes?

•  Understand how multiscale manufacturing from nanoscale to macroscale works

Timelines for lab to market 

•  Need to manage societal understanding of the risks of nanomaterials

•  Understand how to balance risks and benefits

•  High fidelity modeling of production processes to accelerate time-to-market

•  Need to be sure that governments understand the need for patience with respect to societal benefit and return


•  Korean government supports both fundamental science and product driven research

•  US and Korean nanoscience agendas cover the same range of fundamental to applied research so collaboration is possible

•  Korea has more funds available for international collaboration than the US to establish  Global Research Networks (GRN)

•  Need to establish a database of nano researchers and expertise in Korea and the US.  Perhaps social media network can help

•  Department of Energy (DOE) Nanoscience Centers are available for collaboration (free) and used by external researchers.  Oakridge National Lab has a neutron source available and high performance computing.  Molecular Foundry has expertise in particle synthesis.  Argonne National Lab has a photon source.

•  Need more representation of Korean industry at the Nano Forums. For example, The Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is developing a new initiative for emerging compounds using a new sustainability paradigm. Since SETAC works via a tripartite model (government, industry, and academia) this would seem an excellent opportunity for in depth US-Korea collaborations as a new sustainability model and paradigm are generated.

Group 2: Applications 

• Challenge (1): Scale-up of discoveries is often difficult to accomplish, there is often not enough focus placed on this area. Korea may have more capability for scale-up. One model for distribution is developing devices in the US and scaling up in Korea where there is more capacity for nano material production. Minimizing barriers for distribution will advance collaboration between the two countries so that discoveries in one country can lead to distribution in the other country.  The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) model would be tremendously useful for scale-up.

•  Challenge (2): Efforts are often one-sided. Both sides should put in equal effort in the collaboration which may not occur when one side is less invested. This can be addressed by offering funding on three levels to solicit the full effort of all collaborators:

a.  The highest level of funding can attract the most well established faculty to participate which can yield high impact results.

b.  Also Junior Faculty can be very motivated to participate due to their need for funding (see NSF CAREER Award).

c.  Students would be an option for low level funding. This can be a rather inexpensive option for collaboration and forming lasting connections. This type of program would be advantageous since student collaborators would be the future researchers in nanotechnology. Making an investment here early can lead to great progress over the long run. The amount of collaboration itself can be a requirement for continuing awards at all levels.

•  Challenge (3): The U.S. students are often less willing to come to Korea for study.  They should be educated about coming to Korea so that they are more interested in the opportunity. It should be impressed upon them that there is great prestige in studying abroad (e.g., Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships) in addition to the opportunity to receive funding.  Also, students who are current participants can act as ambassadors for the program since they may have more influence with potential student participants.  Also, the students of faculty in the program will have an incentive to participate. The success rate of student programs is often hindered by a lack of advertising.  Effective advertising can lead to a more competitive process and students who are more likely to continue research in the area. The East Asian Summer Program Institute is a model where students can visit other countries.


•  The NRI is looking at alternatives beyond charge switches.  

•   No obvious successor has been found for a post-silicon solution, therefore, the area may be extended for future generations.  Alternative materials include SWCNT and their limitations should be understood.  One issue with scale-up is separations, since 8 nines (99.999999%) purity would be the criterion.  

•  Threshold should be within +/- 10%, whereas currently it is much larger. Homogeneity, reproducibility, and cost must be addressed. Making contributions to adjacent areas such as water purification, photoresists, etc. is a good way to make gains in the nanoelectronic community.  

•   Batteries/capacitors require novel, nearly defect-free materials, and there has been less focus on manufacturing and placement.  Application of nanomaterials over large scales (meters) and accomplishing uniformity would be very useful for the energy storage community.   

Graphene Research

•  Transparent electrodes for display, LED cooling, and lightweight materials are applications for graphene.

•  The Graphene Research Association in Korea covers graphene research nationwide and allows for arranging of funding collaborations.  This can be a major channel for collaboration.  A similar program in the U.S. would enable collaboration between the two countries.

•  In the U.S. most of the graphene research is more project based.  One view is that there is more application focus in Korea and more fundamental science in the U.S. in terms of graphene research, therefore, the two countries can complement each other.  

•  It has been observed that the U.S., investment in graphene itself may be more difficult.    Collaboration between industry/academia is common in Korea but less so in the U.S.  An exception would be BP/Berkley in bio fuels research, and SUNY Albany/IBM is another example.  The successes and failure mechanisms of applications should be clear, and it is not often the case in published research.

Other Areas

•   One should look to help collaborators do what they are already aiming to accomplish.  Chemistry, environmental and material issues are useful and practical areas.  The effect of magnetic fields and bio compatibility are areas that can be converged with nanotechnology in the next few years.  

•   Computation (nanoinformatics), manufacturing, and graphene are areas for collaboration and convergence. However, there may be issues with maintaining funding in these areas.  The fundamental physical problems, not applications, are the areas where there are opportunities for Korea-U.S. collaboration.  

•   Functional diversification involves integrating new materials with new functionalities such as medical devices.  

•   Nano, bio, informatics, cognitive (NBIC) science should be integrated.  

•   MEST/AFSOR is an example of NBIC collaboration.  Here, $100 000 (maybe even less) is given to PIs in each country when they come up with the same objectives and generate a report together.  

•   The testing of products is used in industries such as CCD but many times only expensive offline testing is available. Online testing does not add value, so it is often avoided.  If metrology is to be used it must be efficient and not require too many resources.  

•   The different philosophies of the two countries should be embraced and understood instead of radically changed.   The strengths of each country should be maximized in ways that make collaborations successful.  Trying to make each country uniform is most likely not the best approach.        

•   Defining a focus subject first can open the channel for collaboration instead of merely assigning tasks right away.  Nano bio sensor fabrication is an example subject.    

•   Co-authorships can lead to incentives for collaborations.

On behalf of the U.S participants

On behalf of the Korean participants

Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Seoul, Korea