Innovative Materials

innovativematerials1Nowadays, the innovation is required in the fields of automotive industry, electrical and electronic industry, architecture, civil engineering and others. In any fields, the key for the innovation is the creation of new materials and thus people expect that such innovation will stimulate each other and extend vastly. “Materials” consist of hierarchical ensembles of the elemental components of the level of atoms and molecules. Therefore, to realize the creation of new materials with required performance and functions, the key is the understanding the hierarchical structures of aggregates and higher ordered structures of crystals, and their ensembles, in addition to the basic elemental components of atoms and molecules in these new materials, and the developing the comprehensive abilities to create the world-standards level performance and functions of new materials in a practical use.
In this program, we educate the research sprits for the development of the innovative materials with a practical use level through the approach of higher ordered integration of the materials based on organic materials, polymers, ceramics, and their composites.
In the research topics, we focus on the creation of the innovative materials possessing the world-standards level performance and functions with a sufficient practical use level, and aim the innovation in the optical materials, the photo-electronic materials, the separation materials, the high-temperature materials, and others, through the higher ordered integration of a wide variety of materials from organic and inorganic materials to hybrid materials. One of the subjects in this program is the research and development of the organic devices, which will be the main stream of the electronic and optoelectronic devices in this century, and concretely we focus on the research and developments of organic oligomer crystals, organic photorefractive materials, luminescent metal complexes, optical functional macromolecular thin film materials. Another subject in this course is the research and developments of high-temperature materials, luminescent materials, and adsorbing/separating materials based on the ceramics and glasses.

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Laboratory Information

Polymer Design for Specialty Polymers laboratory Polymer Photonics laboratory
In this field, education and research is focused on the following 4 core areas of optics and materials:
(1) Optics and Information: Development of organic photorefractive materials and their applications; ultrathin ferroelectric films and their applications for nonvolatile memory;
(2) Optical Manipulation: Development of optical waveguide lasers and research into the use of optical polling to control structures;
(3) Optical Manufacturing: Creation of laser-induced structures with the use of picosecond and femtosecond pulse lasers, research into photonic crystals and nanodevices; and
(4) Optics and the Environment: Development of biodegradable polymers, development of photodegradation via photosensitization reactions and its applications;
We conduct research into the mechanism for expression and control of optical and electronic functionality, by uncovering the core optical physico-chemical processes of organic polymer materials.
Material properties and functionality are determined not only by the chemical structure of the component molecules, but also by the aggregate structures such as the molecular arrangement and orientation at the nano and micro levels.
Living polymerization and other methods are used to control functional molecule aggregation and micro-environment to synthesize new materials that could incorporate block copolymers, amphiphilic polymer micelles, heat sensitive polymers, and other such functional molecules.
This has recently expanded to include supramolecular systems incorporating metal complexes.
Properties of a variety of different materials are evaluated with the use of time-resolved laser spectroscopies, confocal fluorescence microscope systems, electrical double refraction, atomic force microscopes, or with scanning electron microscopes, either in a solution or as solid aggregates, as nanoparticles or single molecules.
These methods are used with the aim of realizing new special optical and electronic functionality materials.
Applied Polymer Chemistry laboratory Polymer Physics laboratory
The isolative function within living organisms does not just filter out waste products and excrete them from the body, such as what a kidney does, but has other subtle functions used to maintain homeostatic balance. These functions include writing information contained within specified biologically active substances to cells within the body through a sophisticated molecular recognition function, and furthermore, using membrane proteins and other media in a sophisticated material transportation network across various interfaces.
At this research laboratory, we use the concepts and structures learned from these biological membranes and apply them to synthetic membranes aiming to recreate this subtle functionality.
We believe that through this research it will be possible to create synthetic membranes with superior functionality to that of their biological counterparts.
We create organic polymer semi-conductor materials with superior photoelectric properties, and research the relationship between novel properties and structures. With emphasis on composites, the focus of this laboratory is to challenge ourselves to create new materials and then use devices to observe these novel properties. We have recently been putting great efforts into the development of, and understanding the characteristics of, molecules of various shapes using a number of combinations of thiophene, a pentagon shaped molecule, and phenylene, a hexagon shaped molecule. These molecules are called thiophene/phenylene co-oligomers. Our research where the characteristics of the molecular shape and crystalline form are combined with unique properties such as laser oscillation has garnered the attention of researchers both in Japan and internationally. There are also high hopes for their use as materials in solar cells.
Physical Chemistry of Excited Molecules laboratory High-temperature Materials laboratory
Understanding the flow of optical energy as molecules that have entered an excited state by absorbing light energy go through the process of losing that energy is critical for researching how materials respond to light, electric charge generation through photochemical reaction or optical energy, and also for applications engineering. In this field we research excited molecule behavior, physical chemistry phenomena when illuminated with high powered lasers, as well as the measurement, and development of measurement methods, for chemical reaction intermediates. Specifically, we conduct research on fluorescence mechanisms of radical ions in an excited state and other photo-physical chemical processes, movement of protons in and between excited molecules, and physical and chemical phenomena from high temperatures and pressures related to laser-induced plasma in liquids and shockwaves. We conduct research focusing on the behavior of ceramic materials under high temperatures and load conditions, create materials that can function stably as structural or functional materials, and develop the manufacturing engineering for these products and the ability to effectively evaluate their behaviors and characteristics.
This is separated into: ① Mechanical property measurement and evaluation; and, ② Manufacturing processes
①: This does not just focus on monolithic ceramics but also consists of research related to fracturing and deformation of composite materials and porous substances, looking at the fracture toughness, statistical strength distribution, and heat deformation (creep, superplasticity).
②: This research aims to use mechano-chemical phenomena, auto-combustion sintering and other phenomena to create energy efficient and environmentally responsible materials, as well changing the way we look at traditional skills so that we see they are not just for craftsmen, but also evaluate them as cutting edge technologies.
Amorphous Technology laboratory Inorganic Materials Physical Chemistry laboratory
Inorganic glass made from silicon dioxide and other oxides has superior properties, such as being easy to form, transparent over a wide wavelength, as well as being both chemically and environmentally stable, and as a result has been used as gems since ancient times, and are still critical materials in cutting edge technologies today. We conduct fundamental research to introduce different types of ions and nano-particles to the glass to add new functionality without negatively impacting the existing characteristics. We also research new kinds of glass materials using not just oxides, but sulfur and other chalcogenides as the main component of the glass. Additionally, based on this research we also aim to develop environmentally friendly materials and technologies, as well as optical functional materials and devices that can be used in the optical information communication field. Glass manufacture occurs by melting the component materials at high temperatures, but the melt process results in oxidation-reduction reactions of the glass components as well as erosion of the heat resistant materials in glass melts. These reactions greatly influence the quality of glass products and so an understanding of them is crucial to glass manufacture. Additionally, as glass is a metastable substance, treatment with high temperatures results in a change to a stable crystal phase. This crystallization results in a loss of the unique glass properties and so must be avoided, but it can provide characteristics that cannot be achieved with glass. The aim of our research is to gain a fundamental understanding of the phenomena that occur at these high temperatures and to use this to develop new materials.
Fine Particle and Powder Engineering laboratory  
In this research we actually create powders and ceramics, and observe and measure their microstructure and properties to determine what factors (material and process factors) impact on these structures and properties. Furthermore, our research target is to develop processes (material design) to create ceramic materials with superior characteristics by properly controlling these factors. The main themes of our research are as below:
(1) Synthesis and evaluation of water purification ceramics;
(2) Development of ceramic manufacturing processes with low environmental impact;
(3) Synthesis and evaluation of functional ceramic powders and porous ceramics; and
(4) Materials science approach to traditional ceramic powder processes.