Hyun Jung Kim

Tel: +1 (757) 864-8561; FAX: +1 (757) 864-8312Hyun Jung Kim



Research Interests

  • Ultra-high vacuum (UHV) technology and thin film deposition techniques
  • Characterization (growth mechanism and surface/interface science) and analysis of materials (thin film, nanostructures, and polymer)
  • Solid state physics of thermoelectric transport (thermoelectric material design, synthesis and characterization)
  • Semiconductor (non-volatile memory) device and processing technology
  • Electroactive thin films and nanostructures (band gap engineering for smart optics)


  • Ph.D. (2009), Material Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea
  • M.S. (2005), Material Science and Engineering, KAIST, South Korea
  • B.S. (2003), Material Science and Engineering, Yonsei University, South Korea

Current Research

Dr. Hyun Jung Kim is currently seated within the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch (AMPB) at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC).

Dr. Kim has a strong background in the field of semiconductor and solid-state physics through the graduate program in materials science and engineering. On top of this, the insight and skill in research is invaluable for the energy harvesting including the thermoelectric and solar cell materials through the research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center from 2009.

Dr. Kim’s research areas in AMPB focus on developing new materials and systems for the energy harvest power generation (thermoelectric) and electro-optic device (metamaterials)

Below is a listing that shows the breadth and diversity of the work that Dr. Kim has been engaged.

Doped Chiral Polymer Metamaterials: 2013-present

Chiral materials offer an alternative route to obtaining metamaterials, a class of engineered materials that have exotic and technologically important electromagnetic and optical properties not found in nature. By amplifying the chirality parameters while lowering the real part of the permittivity optical metamaterials can be obtained without having a negative magnetic permeability or complex architecture.

High Figure-of-Merit Thermoelectric (TE) Materials: 2009-2013

Thermoelectric generators are devices that produce electricity by exploiting heat flow across a thermal gradient. They have a wide range of applications including in Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) in spacecraft whose missions take them beyond the range where solar power can be exploited as well as in terrestrial applications where waste heat is converted into useful energy.

Electroactive, Radiation-Shielding Boron (Carbon) Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT, BCNNT) and Composites: 2012-2014

The electronic and electrical properties of BNNTs and BCNNTs can be controlled by bang gap engineering expanding the range of their application to fill the gap (1eV ~ 6eV) between electrically conductive CNTs and BNNTs which are insulating. The expanded range of electrical and electronic properties open their use in sensing and actuating applications as well as the development of other electronic components while still benefiting from the tubes outstanding mechanical properties and thermal stability.

Field-Controlled spectrally Smart Active Optics (FCSAO) Materials: 2009-2011

Development of the fundamental materials for field-controlled spectrally active optics is essential for new concept of optics, such as: membrane optics, filters for LIDARs, windows for sensors and probes, telescopes, spectroscopes, cameras, light valves, light switches, flat-panel displays, etc.

Silicon Germanium (SiGe) Quantum-well solar Cells: 2009-2013

In comparison with single junction (Si) solar cells constructed from only a wider band gap material, quantum well solar cells (SiGe/Ge) have the advantage of extending the spectral response to longer wavelengths, thus leading to an increase of the photocurrent and overall device efficiency in converting light to electrical energy.

Lunar Energy Harvesting: 2009-2011

The moon is negatively charged to several thousand volts by constant bombardment of the solar wind that causes dust particles to levitate and cling to equipment, lunar buggies, and spacesuits. A proposal was submitted and funded under the competitive NASA LaRC C&I program to harness this otherwise nuisance charge for energy generation as well as in mitigating the negative effects of the dust particles on equipment and personnel.

Recent Publications

[1] 10 patents and provisional patents (Korea and US), selected:

  • Nuclear Thermionic Avalanche Cells with Thermoelectric (NTAC-TE) Generator in Tandem Mode: Invented the process of the emission energy of radioactive decay into a useful energy
  • High mobility transport layer structures for rhombohedral Si/Ge/SiGe devices: Enhanced the efficiency of solar cell with high mobility SiGe transport layers made of electron/hole quantum well

[2] 33 papers with peer-reviewed journals, book chapter, selected:

  • “High Temperature Materials and Mechanisms” Edited by Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Chapter 13: Thermoelectric Materials and Generators, Research and Applications (Vijay K. Varadan, Lingeng Chen, Jungmin Lee, Gyanesh N. Mathur, Hyun Jung Kim, and Sang H. Choi), CRC Press, March 3, 2014
  • Jonathan R. Skuza, Yeonjoon Park, Hyun Jung Kim, Shane T. Seaman, Glen C. King, Sang H. Choi, Kyo D. Song, Hargsoon Yoon, and Kunik Lee, “Feasibility study of green energy-powered dirigible transportation”, NASA/TM-2014-218241, 2014
  • Amanda L. Tiano, Cheol Park, Joseph W. Lee, Hoa H. Luong, Luke J. Gibbons, Sang-Hyon Chu, Samantha I. Applin, Peter Gnoffo, Sharon Lowther, Hyun Jung Kim, Paul M. Danehy, Jennifer A. Inman, Stephen B. Jones, Jin Ho Kang, Godfrey Sauti, Sheila A. Thibeault, Vesselin Yamakov, Kristopher E. Wise, Ji Su, Catharine C. Fay, “Boron Nitride Nanotube: Synthesis and Applications”, Proc. SPIE, 2014
  • Hyun Jung Kim, Jungmin Lee, Vijay K. Varadan, and Sang H. Choi, “Printed Thermoelectric Generator for Hybrid Tandem Photovoltaic/Thermoelectric Device”, Recent Patents on Space Technology, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2013
  • Hyun Jung Kim, Hyung-Bin Bae, Yeonjoon Park, and Sang H. Choi, “Defects-engineered Si1-xGex alloy under electron beam irradiation for Thermoelectrics”, RSC Advances C2RA21567E, 2012
  • Hyun Jung Kim, Hyung-Bin Bae, Yeonjoon Park, Kunik Lee, and Sang H. Choi, “Temperature dependence of crystalline SiGe growth on sapphire (0001) substrates by sputtering”, Journal of Crystal Growth, 353(1), 124-128, 2012
  • Hyun Jung Kim, Glen C. King, Yeonjoon Park, Kunik Lee, and Sang H. Choi, “Thermoelectric Performance Enhancement by Surrounding Crystalline Semiconductors with Metallic Nanoparticles”, Proceedings of 9th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC), 2011
  • Yeonjoon Park, Hyun Jung Kim, Uhn Lee, Kunik Lee, Glen C. King and Sang H. Choi, “Optical Performance of Circular Fresnel Spectrometer”, Proceedings of 18th SPIE Smart Structures and Materials, 2011
  • Sang H. Choi, Glen C. King, Hyun Jung Kim, Yeonjoon Park, “Electrostatic Power Generation from Negatively Charged, Simulated Lunar Regolith”, Proceedings of AIAA Space 2010 Conference & Exposition, 2010
  • Hyun Jung Kim, Yeonjoon Park, Glen C. King, Sang H. Choi, “Crystal Lattice Controlled SiGe Thermoelectric Materials with High Figure of Merit”, Proceedings of LL5.17, Symposium LL: Thermoelectric Materials for Solid-State Power Generation and Refrigeration, MRS Fall Meeting, 2010



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