Faculty: HONGKUN PARK
Professor of Chemistry and of Physics
12 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Lab Administrator: Jeff Creson
(617) 384-7998 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Nanometer-sized materials represent a natural size limit of the miniaturization trend of current technology, and they exhibit physical and chemical properties significantly different from their bulk counterparts. The research interest of Hongkun Park lies in developing detailed physical and chemical understanding of chemically derived nanostructures through new experimental methods and applying this knowledge to possible technological applications. Current research efforts toward these general goals are centered on two areas: (1) to study electronic, magnetic, and optical properties of individual molecules, clusters, nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and their arrays using combined transport, scanning probe and optical measurements and to develop detailed understanding of their behaviors, and (2) to develop synthesis methods for transition-metal-oxide and chalcogenide nanostructures that exhibit novel electronic and magnetic properties and to study the role of phase transitions in determining their properties at the individual nanostructure level.
Another research interest of Hongkun Park is to investigate spatiotemporal dynamics of neural networks by developing neuroelectronic interfaces. Neural networks, collections of neurons interconnected by synaptic junctions, form the physical basis of the central and peripheral nervous systems in biological organisms. These networks are responsible not only for the reaction of the organism to external stimuli but also for more highly organized cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and logic. Hongkun Park is interested in deciphering the inner workings of neural networks by coupling model “mesoscale” neural networks composed of 102 ~ 103 hippocampal neurons with complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-based multielectrode and transistor arrays and by probing real-time dynamics of neural connections using both electrical and optical interrogation. The research efforts should enable the detailed mapping of the action potential propagation and synaptic adaptation within the network, and therefore help answer crucial questions pertaining to biological neural networks.