Chulsung Bae

Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Chulsung Bae is Professor at Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology (with a joint appointment at Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Broadly speaking, Bae's research group focuses on development of functional polymeric materials that might find applications in the areas of clean energy and environment technologies, using synthetic organic chemistry as a tool. Specific examples of projects include innovative ion conducting polymer electrolytes that can be used as a key component in next generation energy conversion and storage technologies, such as fuel cells, hydrogen production via water splitting, and redox flow battery, and functional polymers that can play a crucial role in energy efficient separation process.

Bae received BS in Polymer Science & Engineering at Inha University, MS in Materials Science at Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH), MS in Chemistry at University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Ph.D. in Chemistry at University of Southern California under the guidance of Surya Prakash and Nobel Laureate George Olah. After postdoctoral research with John Hartwig at Yale University, he started independent academic career at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) as an Assistant Professor in 2004. In 2012 Bae relocated his research group to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he is currently a professor at Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology. Dr. Bae received a number of awards including New Investigator Award of UNLV (2005), National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2008), and RPI School of Science Outstanding Research Award (2016). In 2017 Dr. Bae received a $2.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Products Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop innovative solid ion conducting materials for next generation renewable energy conversion and storage technology.


Postdoc, Yale University
Ph.D. (Chemistry), University of Southern California
MS (Chemistry), University of Massachusetts Lowell
MS (Materials Science & Engineering), Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)
BS (Polymer Science & Engineering), Inha University

Research Focus
  • Clean energy technology
  • Ion-conducting polymers for energy conversion
  • Green chemistry
Select Works
  • T. Hwang, J. –S. Oh, W. Yim, J. –D. Nam, C. Bae, H. Kim, K. J. Kim* "Ultrafiltration using grapheme oxide surface-embedded polysulfone membranes" Sep. Purif. Tech. 2016, 166, 41–47.
  • A. D. Mohanty, S. E. Tignor, J. A. Krause, C. Bae* "Systematic Alkaline Stability Study of Polymer Backbones for Anion Exchange Membrane Applications" Macromolecules 2016, 49, 3361–3372.
  • Y. Chang, A. D. Mohanty, S. B. Smedley, K. Abu-Hakmeh, Y. H. Lee, J. E. Morgan, M. A. Hickner,* S. S. Jang,* C. Y. Ryu, C. Bae* "Effect of Superacidic Sidechain Structures on High Conductivity Aromatic Polymer Fuel Cell Membranes" Macromolecules 2015, 48, 7117–7126.
  • A. D. Mohanty, C. Y. Ryu, Y. S. Kim, C. Bae* "Stable Elastomeric Anion Exchange Membranes Based on Quaternary Ammonium-Tethered Polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-polystyrene Triblock Copolymers" Macromolecules 2015, 48, 7085–7095.
  • A. D. Mohanty, C. Bae* "Transition Metal-Catalyzed Functionalization of Polyolefins Containing C–C, C=C, and C–H Bonds" Adv. Organomet. Chem. 2015, 64, 1–39 (invited review article).
  • S. B. Smedley, Y. Chang, C. Bae, M. A. Hickner* "Measuring water hydrogen bonding distributions in proton exchange membranes using linear Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy" Solid State Ionics 2015, 275, 66–70.
  • T. Le, Z. Shang, L. Wang, N. Li, S. Vajjala Kesava, J. O’Conner, Y. Chang, C. Bae, C. Zhu, A. Hexemer, E. W. Gomez, A. Salleo, Mi. A. Hickner, E. D. Gomez* "Miscibility and acid strength govern contact doping of organic photovoltaics with strong polyelectrolytes" Macromolecules 2015, 48, 5162–5171.
  • J. –H. Kim, E. J. Park, B. Singh, J. –Y. Park, C. Bae, S. –J. Song* "Fabrication of Dense Cerium Pyrophosphate-Polystyrene Composite for Application as Low-Temperature Proton-Conducting Electrolytes" J. Electrochem. Soc. 2015, 162, F1159–F1164.