▲ Cover of ACS Energy Letters, Professor Choi Wonjun
New technologies developed through continuous experiments and research have been a critical turning point for humans. Following innovations in science and technology, industries have developed and the quality of life has been enhanced. In current society, the speed of development is going faster, now looking forward to the fourth industrial revolution period in which energy sources are the key field to continue developing. Energy is one of the most important research subjects in the science field, and Korea University (KU) is also riding on the flow of this trend.
In September, an article written by Professor Choi Won-jun (Department of Mechanical Engineering) was elected as the cover story for American Chemical Society (ACS) Energy Letters, which is a famous international academic journal that deals with energy studies. The article, “Rational Design for Optimizing Hybrid ThermoTriboelectric Generators Targeting Human Activities,” revealed the result of research that was conducted with team members of Professor Choi, including students, and mainly targeted the issue of new hybrid energy development devices. As hybrid indicates devices that use more than two kinds of fuel, the research explored new ways to get two different kinds of energy sources at once.
According to Professor Choi, what makes this hybrid energy development device different is that it uses a special energy harvesting technology based on the energy source mechanism which operates human’s body temperature and movement. Since current society is continuously developing through highly advanced technologies, there are many contaminants in the air, water, and soil that worsen severe environmental. Therefore, the need to develop more environmentally friendly sources is one of the reasons why the team of Professor Choi conducted research on this new energy generating device.
According to his explanation, this energy making device is designed for more practical use in the industrial world because it has a highly optimized system that enables the device to be easily operated. Moreover, this may also contribute to the daily circumstances in lifestyle that require Internet of Things (IoT) devices and mobile facilities which need high energy output to work. Using this energy generating device called a harvesting device, will contribute to making more important energy sources both in future research and the practical industrial fields in society. As this does not need any charging equipment or battery, it could be more efficient than other energy harvesting devices.
The result of research could be applied to real industry, but it is also meaningful research because not only professors but also two KU students joined as team members. Through this practical experience, they could gain experiences of studying how the real research works. As their research value was highly recognized, KU gained recognition from other countries, which provided support during the research.
As the importance of science will not disappear in the future, science research and technology development will constantly be carried out. This research holds significance in the same vein, as the research team contributed on the flow of science, leading the development of the new energy. Furthermore, as this research was accomplished through cooperation with several departments including mechanical, chemical, and material engineering, the results led to the integration of different fields of studies. This is expected give more insights for additional developing technologies and research from now on for both KU students and society.