Alex Pak

Post Doctoral Scholar
Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago


Alex earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2010. After a year as a Junior Scientist at a nanotechnology start-up called Nano-Terra, Alex entered graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2016. His dissertation studies aimed to establish material design principles for supercapacitors by elucidating fundamental charge storage mechanisms at the interface of carbon nanomaterials and room temperature ionic liquids using quantum mechanical and classical molecular simulations. Alex joined the Voth Group in the summer of 2016.


Research Interests:

Alex is interested in using multiscale methods to understand non-equilibrium processes at complex material interfaces. He is currently working on the self-assembly of HIV-1 Gag, a large structural protein, and associated budding at the cell membrane interface by leveraging coarse-grained modeling and simulation.  



1.         A.J. Pak and G.S. Hwang, “Molecular insights into the complex relationship between capacitance and pore morphology in nanoporous carbon-based supercapacitors,” under review (2016).

2.         W. Wei, L. Chang, K. Sun, A.J. Pak, E. Paek, G.S. Hwang, and Y.H. Hu, “Highly conductive Na-embedded porous carbon for highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cells exceed 12% efficiency,” under review (2016).

3.         A.J. Pak and G.S. Hwang, “Charging rate dependence on ion migration and stagnation in ionic liquid-filled carbon nanopores,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 (2016), 24560-7.

4.         A.J. Pak and G.S. Hwang, “Theoretical analysis of thermal transport in graphene supported on hexagonal boron nitride: The importance of strong adhesion due to p-bond polarization,” Phys. Rev. Appl., 6 (2016), 034015.

5.         Y. Lee*, A.J. Pak*, and G.S. Hwang, “What is the thermal conductivity limit of silicon germanium alloys?” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18 (2016), 19544-8.

6.         A.J. Pak and G.S. Hwang, “On the importance of regulating hydroxyl coverage on the basal plane of graphene oxide for supercapacitors,” ChemElectroChem, 3 (2016), 741-8.

7.         D. Wu*, A.J. Pak*, Y. Liu, X. Wu, Y. Ren, Y. Zhou, Y. Tsai, M. Lin, H. Peng, G.S Hwang, and K. Lai, “Thickness-dependent dielectric constant of few-layer In2Se3 nano-flakes,” Nano Lett., 15 (2015), 8136-40.

8.         Y. Lee*, A.J. Pak*, E. Paek, and G.S. Hwang, “Principal role of contact-force distribution in determining the thermal conductivity of supported graphene,” Phys. Rev. Appl., 4 (2015), 014006.

9.         E. Paek*, A.J. Pak*, and G.S. Hwang, “On the influence of polarization effects in predicting the interfacial structure and capacitance of graphene-like electrodes in ionic liquids,” J. Chem. Phys., 142 (2015), 024701. 

10.      A.J. Pak, E. Paek, and G.S. Hwang, “Impact of graphene edges on enhancing the performance of electrochemical double layer capacitors,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 118 (2014), 21770-7.

11.      E. Paek*, A.J. Pak*, and G.S. Hwang, “Large capacitance enhancement induced by metal-doping in graphene-based supercapacitors: A first principles-based assessment,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 6 (2014), 12168-76.

12.      A.J. Pak, E. Paek, and G.S. Hwang, “Tailoring the performance of graphene-based supercapacitors using topological defects: a theoretical assessment,” Carbon, 68 (2014), 734-41.

13.      E. Paek*, A.J. Pak*, and G.S. Hwang, “Curvature effects on the interfacial capacitance of carbon nanotubes in an ionic liquid,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (2013), 23539-46.

14.      A.J. Pak*, E. Paek*, and G.S. Hwang, “Relative contributions of quantum and double layer capacitance to the supercapacitor performance of carbon nanotubes in an ionic liquid,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 15 (2013), 19741-7.

15.      E. Paek, A.J. Pak, K.E. Kweon, and G.S. Hwang, “On the origin of the enhanced supercapacitor performance of N-doped graphene,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (2013), 5610-6.

16.      E. Paek, A.J. Pak, and G.S. Hwang, “A computational study of the interfacial structure and capacitance of graphene in [BMIM][PF6] ionic liquid,” J. Electrochem. Soc., 160 (2013), A1-10.

17.      C.M. Williams, A. Ghobeity, A.J. Pak, and A. Mitsos, “Simultaneous optimization of size and short-term operation of an RO plant,” Desalination, 301 (2012), 42-52.