Alex Junkyu Hwang

Ph.D. Candidate

220 S 33rd St
Moore 300B
Philadelphia, PA, 19104


August 2017 – May 2021: B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
August 2021 – Present: Doctoral Student in Osuji Lab, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Research Overview

Current Research

My current research fabrication and application of lyotropic liquid crystal membranes. The thin film membrane consists of a self-assembled mesophase of [2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl]dimethyl tetradecyl ammonium bromide (AETDAB) spincoatted atop of a polyacrylonitrile support layer. Current efforts focus on the antifouling behavior and hydrophobicity of the membrane, as well as the single file diffusion characteristics for drug delivery.

Another avenue of research is a collaboration with a postdoc in the group Daehwan Park. We are trying to produce hydrogel based solar evaporator for steam generation. My efforts focus on an application of a mesophase layer from the aforementioned surfactant to provide a selective layer for salt. The selective layer is to provide greater efficacy in stream generation by providing lower boiling point water to the heat-generating layer of the system.

Previous Research

During my time in University of Southern California, I joined the Tsotsis lab and worked with a graduate student Bryan Nguyen. We worked on the fabrication of SiC nanoporous membrane and its application to stem reforming of methane. We investigated if the asymmetric membrane was able to retain its permeability and selectivity in high pressure and temperature of SRM reactor. Furthermore, I worked on the development of a computational model of the SRM reactor.