Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1997 (Theoretical Solid State Chemistry)
Postdoc. Cornell University, 1998 (Theoretical Solid State Chemistry)
Postdoc. Ames National Laboratory (ISU), 1998 (Experimental&Theoretical Solid State Chemistry)
Since the beginning of the nineteenth centuries marked by a transition to new revolutionary manufacturing processes, ever-expanding human industrial activities have brought serious sustainability challenges especially in energy, water, environment and global health. One broad aspect of our research focus is chemistry of materials that enables solutions to these challenges. Our research group is particularly interested in new synthetic developments and interdisciplinary applications of nanostructured materials for renewable energy production, water purification and environmental remediation, by adopting green chemistry principles. Our fundamental research is geared to give an immediate and transformative impact to the society by providing creative materials solutions to the sustainability challenges.
Our recent successes include development of a novel sol-gel synthetic method that produces nanoporous transparent conducting metal oxides (TCOs). Such materials have important applications in producing fuel or energy from sunlight. High-porosity alumina aerogels have been successfully produced for catalysis purpose through our new synthetic method that does not require cost-prohibitive supercritical drying process. One emerging material of our great interest is geopolymer, nanostructured amorphous aluminosilicates produced by an energy-efficient top-down chemical process at ambient temperatures. We have recently developed new inorganic-organic synthetic chemistry for synthesis of new nanoporous geopolymer materials which has significant implications in environmental remediation, water purification and catalysis. Further significant efforts are given to commercialization of our innovative materials synthesis methods and the materials products.
Don Seo received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Seoul National University in Korea, and a Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State University working with Mike Whangbo. After postodoctoral work first with Roald Hoffman, a Nobel Laureate, at Cornell and at Iowa State University with John Corbett, he joined the faculty at Arizona State University. His research interests are focused on the design of new synthetic strategies, synthesis, characterization and applications of new inorganic porous materials, hybrid materials and composite materials for energy and sustainability applications. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and also a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award.