한국과학기술원 계산과학연구센터 선임연구원)
In the distant past, the idea of using chemical reactions to turn base metals, such as lead (Pb) or mercury (Hg), into noble metals, especially gold (Au) and silver (Ag), was an alluring concept. However, despite many different attempts and approaches, such alchemy techniques were never successful, although many useful chemicals and specialized equipment were developed in the process. Recent, we has taken another look at alchemy and developed a computer simulation for transforming elements, a technique which we refer to as modern alchemy. This modern alchemy involves a technique for mixing elements to create new characteristics that are not inherent to the constituent elements in the periodic table. We have shown that based on this modern alchemy scheme we can create properties of noble metals, such as palladium (Pd) and platinum (Pt), by mixing cheaper constituent elements. We expect that a design strategy based on the modern alchemy can provide innovative insight into the development of new functional materials such as catalysts. With this modern alchemy technique, we have acquired a research fund of 9 billion KRW for 6 years from the National Research Foundation of Korea (Creative Material Discovery Program). In this seminar, I will discuss the modern alchemy scheme and introduce our creative material discovery project.