I would like to thank UNIST for giving me the opportunity to work in a cutting-edge research environment. I hope I can given back and provide a positive influence on the scientific community.
UNIST Department of Chemistry announced that its alumni member has recently been honored with the 2022 S-Oil Outstanding Dissertation Award, granted by the S-Oil Science Prodigy and and Culture Foundation. The award presentation ceremony for the S-Oil Outstanding Dissertation Award took place jointly with the ‘2022 Next-Generation Scientist Award‘ on December 9, 2022.
The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding individuals who have completed dissertations representing original work that makes a significant contribution to the discipline. Dr. Ma has been given this honor in recognition of his dissertation, titled “Growth of Single-Crystalline and Layer-Controllable Hexagonal Boron Nitride,” which has been supervised by Professor Hyeon Suk Shin (Department of Chemistry, UNIST).
Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is known as the only two-dimensional (2D) insulating material, that can prevent degradation of functions, such as charge trap and charge scattering, which may occur from next-generation, highly integrated semiconductors. Until now, the development of a technology that can synthesize 2D insulating material in a single crystal form that has appropriate thickness, enough to be used in semiconductor devices, has been a challenge.
Under the supervision of Professor Hyeon Suk Shin (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Dr. Ma was able to synthesize hBN single crystal that can be adjusted in thickness, through a new synthesis method, capable of adjusting the level of concentration of materials required for synthesis. A paper summarizing this was published in the Jule 2022 issue of Nature and received great attention.
“Dr. Ma did his best to produce good results without losing persistence and passion while carrying out difficult and challenging topics,” said Professor Hyeon Suk Shin. “I am confident that he will grow into the next-generation scientist who contributes to the development of science and technology in Korea.”
Dr. Ma entered the Master’s program in Energy Engineering at UNIST in 2014 and obtained his PhD degree in the same field in February 2021. He has also been selected for the ‘Sejong Science Fellowship‘ by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) in March 2022 and has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at UNIST.
Meanwhile, the S-Oil Outstanding Thesis Award was established in 2011 to acknowledge and encourage researchers for their outstanding doctoral research and scientific contributions to the field of basic science. Recipients were given cash rewards of KRW 10 million for the Grand Prize and KRW 5 million for the Excellence Award, respectively. Cash awards were also given to their faculty advisors, a grand prize of KRW 5 million and an excellence prize of KRW 3 million, respectively.