Sun Woo Kim Receives Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship

Sun Woo Kim Receives Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship
Award Supports Promising Graduate Students

Sun Woo Kim, a Ph.D. student in inorganic chemistry at the University of Houston, was selected for a 2012 Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award from the International Centre for Diffraction Data. The $2,500 award is designed to support the education and research program of promising graduate students in crystallography-related fields. Thirteen students received the award for 2012.

For his research entitled, “Investigation of New Mixed Valence Iron Flourides: Crystal Structure and Physical Property Relationships,” Kim is trying to make new functional materials, such as multiferroics, magnets, or nonlinear optics (NLO) materials, and then characterize the materials using various spectroscopic techniques. His research advisor is P. Shiv Halasyamani, professor of chemistry.

“Dr. Halasyamani is a good mentor,” Kim said. “When I have difficulties figuring out research problems, he always gives me direction and helps me get a positive mind.”

Kim, who expects to graduate in the summer of 2014, said he became interested in crystallography because he could get more accurate information on materials. “From the determination of the crystal structure of materials using X-ray crystallography, I can fully understand the origin of the properties of materials and predict or design new functional materials,” Kim said.

Kim holds a B.E. in applied chemistry and an M.E. in applied inorganic chemistry, both from Kyungpook National University in South Korea.

This award marks the second time a UH graduate student advised by Halasyamani has been selected for the Ludo Frevel Award. In 2011, Jeongho Yeon, received the scholarship for the research project, “Investigation of New Polar Oxides: Crystal Structure and Physical Property Relationship.”

Crystallography is an interdisciplinary branch of science taught in chemistry, physics, geology, molecular biology, metallurgy and material science. It played a key role in the development of X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction and neutron diffraction for the elucidation of the atomic structure of matter.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics