A research institute specializing in Materials Science

Surface Materials Division

Department of Electrochemistry

Head of Department
Lee, Joo-Yul

Department Introduction

Electrochemistry department develops wet-process based surface treatment technology of nano-structured functional materials and electrodeposition technology for various applications such as electronic devices, sensors, dental implants, solar and fuel cells. Also, we develops novel computational and experimental electrochemical technique not only for electroplating but also electroforming, electroless plating, chemical conversion coating, anodizing, etchin,g and electropolishing, etc.


Major Activities

Precision plating and surface treatment: 2 SCI papers, 1 domestic software registration, 50,000 KRW royalty, 2 domestic patents applied
Electrode materials for polymer-based water electrolyzer (1 SCI paper)
Electrochemical sensor for smart electroplating factory (1 SCI paper)
Thermoelectric & Piezoelectric materials: 5 SCI papers, 3 domestic patents applied, 1 foreign patent applied

Major Research Area

Precision plating using plating simulation
Development of High performance electrocatalytic electrodes for chlorination and waste treatment
Electrodeposition technique for electronic, electrocatalyst, and battery applications
Plating proces replicating the superficial tactility of natural substance
Electrodeposition of organic/inorganic hybrid thermoelectric materials
Surface engineering of Ti for bio-application and Mg alloys for automobiles

Future Research Plan

  • Development of smart electroplating manufacturing process
  • Development of electrocatalytic electrodes and systems for chlorination and waste treatment
  • Simulation and process monitoring for smart electroplating factory
  • Surface treatment methods to improve corrosion and abrasion resistances of Mg alloys
  • Tailoring thermoelectric materials based on electrodeposition technique

Major R&D Activities

Development of low and/or non-platinum group metals electrocatalytic electrode for HOCl generator

  • Reducing non-platinum group metals for MMO (Mixed Metal Oxide) electrodes and development of durable non-precision electrocatalytic electrodes for HOCl generator
    • MMO electrode having anodic chlorination efficiency 90%, less than 12% of PGM
    • Non-PGM electrode having anodic chlorination efficiency 90%, 20,000 hour durability
Performance of non-PGM electrode

High efficient thermoelectric materials via electrodeposition technique

  • The thermoelectric films need long process time and have low thermoelectric property compared to those of bulk counterpart. To solve this problem, we developed electrochemical process and in-situ formation of nano-precipitation in the matrix.
    • The surface morphology and crystal structure were improved via electrodeposition and thermal annealing process
    • The development of the highest efficient thermoelectric films via in-situ formation of nano-precipitation
High efficient thermoelectric materials via electrodeposition : (left) thermoelectric properties, (right) TEM images

Development of surface finishing methods to improve corrosion and abrasion resistances of magnesium alloys

  • Development of plasma electrolytic oxidation treatment method for protection of Mg alloys against corrosion and abrasion
  • Low-voltage anodic oxidation treatment of AZ31 Mg alloy and hydrothermal treatment of the anodic film for improved corrosion resistance
  • Development of chemical conversion coatings and E-painting methods for corrosion protection of Mg alloys
  • Electroplating of Cu and Ag on magnesium alloys
Polarization curves of anodized AZ31 Mg alloy/Cu electroplated AZ91 Mg alloy