Sang Eon Han receives National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award
February 16, 2016 - Excerpted from the UNM Newsroom
Sang Eon Han, an assistant professor in the UNM Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and a CHTM faculty member, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.
The $500,000 award begins June 1, 2016 and continues through May 31, 2021. The NSF CAREER program is geared toward helping early-career faculty get strong starts on their academic careers. The award is NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the community.
Han's project is titled “Symmetry Control in Photonic Nanostructures for Enhanced Optical Properties.” The research will be conducted in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and at the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) at UNM.
Han said the goal of the project is to research the effect of symmetry on the optical properties of photonic materials and explore the full implications of the symmetry effect on energy applications. Control of symmetry in metallic nanostructures can increase light absorption in optoelectronic devices, including thin-film solar cells. Symmetry control in biomimetic structures — structures that mimic a biological system — could enable the efficient blocking of sunlight during summer months with extremely thin coatings. As a result, the research could lead to advances in products designed to enhance energy efficiency in solar panels and heat-management materials, such as are used in the construction of buildings.