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 research the mechanisms and control of optical and electronic functions by examining the principal photophysical and photochemical processes of organic and polymer materials. The properties and functionality of materials are determined not only by the chemical structure of each component molecule, but also by aggregate structures, such as the molecular orientation and arrangement of component molecules at the nano and micro levels. To control the aggregate structures and the microenvironments of functional molecules, we synthesize new materials incorporating functional molecules into various polymers such as block copolymers, amphiphilic polymer micelles, and temperature-responsive polymers using living polymerization and other methods. Our focus has recently expanded to include the development of supramolecular systems incorporating metal complexes. We evaluate the properties of what follows makes this unnecessary material solutions, solid aggregates, nanoparticles, and single molecules using time-resolved laser spectroscopy, a confocal fluorescence microscope, an atomic force microscope and a scanning electron microscope. We aim to develop materials with new optical and electronic functions.
Applied Polymer Chemistry laboratory Polymer Physics laboratory
Our objective is to develop innovative materials with advanced functionality based on organic synthetic chemistry technology that enables molecular structures to be designed with a high degree of precision. Specifically, we develop:
(1) Highly functional nanomaterials through the precision design of layered structures: Functional molecular groups form precisely arranged advanced layered structures within an organism. Activity coordinated between these structures produces advanced and complex functions. Our laboratory is developing a method to control molecular arrangement in a nano-space inside a material and based on the layered structures, to create materials with advanced functionality.
(2) High-performance gas separation membranes: The separation of gases by polymeric membranes has attracted remarkable attention for several decades. Compared to conventional separation processes, membrane-based gas separation is advantageous because of its low capital and operating costs, high energy efficiency, and ease of operation. We expect to apply the use of novel gas separation membranes developed in our laboratory to carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), biogas purification, and other needs.
To fabricate high-performance devices with superior photoelectric properties, we produce novel organic polymer semiconductor materials and grow their crystal samples. These crystals are used to develop devices with novel structures showing remarkable properties. We use a range of organic materials, mainly focusing on molecules called thiophene/phenylene co-oligomers, which are composed of combinations of thiophene and benzene rings. While proceeding with research for developing an organic semiconductor laser, we evaluate the fundamental properties of organic materials and their crystals, such as career mobilities, refractive indices, laser oscillations, and crystallographic structures. Unique properties of organic crystals have drawn the attention of domestic and international researchers. Recently, we have begun to apply our material and crystal findings to photovoltaic cell use.
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
Our laboratory deals with inorganic solid materials. Specifically, we look at glass/amorphous materials and the surfaces and nano-structures of solid bodies. Research is conducted on easily fabricated inorganic glass/amorphous materials, ways to maintain their transparency over a wide range of wavelengths, and their chemical and environmental stability. With these excellent properties, they are indispensable for day-to-day life as well as state-of-the-art technology. We conduct basic research to understand these properties of glass at the atomic and molecular level and develop functional glass with innovative functions. In research on the surface and nano-structures of solid bodies, with the aim of discovering new functions of solid surfaces and nano-sized substances, high resolution power enables us to observe the surface structure of metals, semiconductors and insulating materials that are induced by the absorption of atoms and molecules and atmospheric control, and also to measure their properties. In these research activities, we mainly use scanning probe microscopies (scanning tunneling microscopy, non-contact atomic force microscopy). 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
Our laboratory produces granular materials and ceramics to observe their microstructures and measure their properties. We study the factors (material factors and process factors) that affect the microstructures and properties of the ceramics we produce. The aim of our research is to develop a process (material design) to control these factors to produce ceramic materials with specific properties, with a focus on the following themes:
(1) Synthesis and evaluation of ceramics for water purification
(2) Development of an environmentally friendly ceramic manufacturing process
(3) Synthesis and evaluation of functional ceramic powders and porous ceramics
(4) A materials science approach to traditional ceramic powder processing

Academic Programs