Kyuin Park, a first-year master’s student in Fiber Science won a best poster award at the New York State Nanotechnology Network Symposium (NNN). The annual event brings together industry partners and Cornell undergraduate and graduate students to problem solve, build relationships and grow awareness.
Park’s winning poster “Polymer Nano/Microfiber as a Solar Reflector or Absorber,” explores heat transfer from solar energy in the near-infrared region of solar radiation. More than half of radiation from the sun is invisible to our eyes, this is called the near-infrared region or NIR. Studies show that radiation from the NIR can be reflected by reducing the fiber diameter of what we wear. The average t-shirt has a 10+-micron fiber diameter. Researchers observed a 12-degree Celsius (more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit!) reduction in skin temperature using a 1-micron fiber t-shirt in the same color.
Working with advisor Margaret Frey, the Vincent V. C. Woo Professor in Fiber Science and Apparel Design as well as Yong L. Joo, the BP Amoco/H. Laurance Fuller Professor of Chemical Engineering, Park’s master’s research will continue to examine this optical phenomenon by applying structural modifications that might impact the optical performances determining how and why.