1. What made you want to be a chemist?
When I was in fourth grade in elementary school, I got a silver medal in the regional science contest. From that time, I became interested in science. After taking both physics and chemistry classes in high school, I found myself fitting better into chemistry.
2. If you weren’t a chemist and could do any other job, what would it be – and why?
A scientist in another disciple, such as physics or biology, because I liked science a lot during my middle and high school days.
3. How can chemists best contribute to the world at large?
By solving energy problems, in particular, developing highly effective solar cells and visible light activated photocatalysts for hydrogen production.
4. Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with – and why?
Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible because I would like to know how he endured so much trouble and had so much wisdom.
5. When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab – and what was it?
In 1999 when I was an assistant professor, synthesizing nanoporous carbon materials using mesoporous silica as templates.
6. If exiled on a desert island, what one book and one CD would you take with you?
The Bible because there are so many things I can learn. And, a classical music CD with a collection of recordings by Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Sir Neville Marriner.
Taeghwan Hyeon is in the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University, Korea, and works on the synthesis of uniform-sized nanoparticles and their biomedical applications.