Materials Synthesis

Creating Innovative Materials

Based on a bottom-up approach from atoms and molecules toward materials with high-level functions and performances, we are engaged in education and research comprehensively regarding material design and fine synthesis at the molecular level, and regarding structural change and molecular organization.

Educational Program

Based on undergraduate-level education in the fields of organic, polymer, molecular, and other branches of chemistry, students in this program come to understand the principles of molecular design and material design of organic low-molecular compounds, polymer compounds and a wide variety of hybrids, and to obtain the ability to take that understanding to the creation of new materials. At the same time, students acquire the fundamental ability to propose new methods for synthesizing such compounds and materials effectively. In this regard, we provide education not only in the field of synthetic chemistry of organic materials, inorganic materials, and polymer compounds but also in the fields of synthetic chemistry, fine molecular design, surface active material chemistry, heteroatom chemistry and more, in a wide range of applications for creating materials by synthesizing organic materials, inorganic materials, and polymer compounds.

Our lectures are divided into the four categories of organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, molecular material chemistry, and applied chemistry. Added to these are research and practica, through which students come to understand scientific principles and fundamentals but also to obtain practical skills and methods necessary for synthesizing a wide variety of compounds. We provide students with many opportunities to present their research on- and off-campus, to enable them to improve their compositional skill, judgement, presentation skills and more.

Laboratory Information

Organic Molecular Materials Chemistry Function-oriented Synthetic Chemistry
Our group focuses on the creation of organic small molecules, polymers, and supramolecules, which exhibit superior material properties such as luminescence, charge transporting nature, and liquid crystallinity with the aid of synthetic organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, heteroatom chemistry, physical chemistry, molecular self-assembly chemistry, and liquid crystal science. Our research projects are classified into the following four subjects: (1) Development of synthetic organic reactions, reagents, and synthetic strategies to effectively synthesize target molecules; (2) Design, synthesis, evaluation, and applications of organic luminophores that exhibit efficient fluorescence and phosphorescence in aggregated states; (3) Development of organic semiconducting materials with high charge carrier mobility; and (4) Development of hybrid liquid crystalline materials exhibiting anisotropic luminescence.

Research themes: Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Functional Organic Small Molecules, Polymers, and Supramolecules
Keywords: Organic Synthesis/Organometallic Chemistry/Supramolecular Chemistry/Optical Functional Materials/Electronic Materials/Photoelectric Conversion Materials
The key to developing organic materials is to design and synthesize new molecules using synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, surface chemistry, etc., and to assemble these molecules in a sophisticated fashion, aiming at unprecedented functions. In our laboratory, we focus on the precision control of the molecular assemblies to maximize the potentials of new molecules, to develop novel material technologies. Our research subjects primarily focus on porphyrin and related compounds as biomolecular frameworks. In particular, we are exploring the functions of glassy porphyrins for near-infrared light-emitting materials for non-invasive in vivo imaging through the development of a wide range of peripheral technologies.

Research themes: Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Functional Supramolecular Assemblies
Keywords:Synthetic organic chemistry / Polymer chemistry / Supramolecular chemistry / Optical / Electronic functional materials / Surface chemistry
Polymer Organic Chemistry Synthetic Molecular Chemistry
Our laboratory primarily investigates the liquid chromatographic applications of molecular differentiation based on various interactions among organic compounds for separation science. We prepare separation media using molecular design and organic synthesis. By analyzing their structures and separation properties, we improve their functionality as separation media to exceed that of conventional separation materials. The final goal of our research is to apply them to life science and environmental issues, where it is necessary to separate and detect thousands of different compounds. We are currently developing a system to simultaneously increase separation speed and selectivity in peptide, protein and carbohydrate separation. Our second focus involves the development of design, synthesis, and evaluation of organic molecules with biological and material functions, and establishment of the construction of highly controlled supramolecules mimicking biomolecular functions by using molecular recognition. Synthetic organic reactions are essential in the manufacturing of organic materials, medicines and agricultural chemicals.
Our research focuses on molecular design, synthesis, structural analysis and evaluation of highly functional materials based on computational chemistry.
We primarily conduct: design and development of sensor molecules that recognize specific molecules and emit fluorescence. Our particular focus is on the development of sensor molecules for medical diagnosis and trace detection of chemical weapon use, as well as the development of fluorescent molecules with mechanical stimulation influenced color change.

Research themes: Development of fluorescence sensors for medical diagnosis
Development of fluorescent molecules with mechanical stimulation influenced color change
Organofluorine Chemistry Functional Polymeric Materials
Organic molecules containing one or more fluorine atom are attractive promising functional materials in the fields of medicine, pharmaceutical research, and materials science because the incorporation of fluorine into organic molecules can bring about a dramatic alteration of chemical and physical properties. This intriguing phenomenon is attributable to the typical characteristics of fluorine atoms; viz., fluorine (i) is the second smallest atom next to hydrogen and shows (ii) is the largest electronegativity among all elements, (iii) has a low polarizability, and (iv) has a high C–F bond dissociation energy. Owing to the unique effects that emerge through the addition of fluorine substituents, extensive efforts have been devoted to the exploration of fluorinated functional materials. 
For twenty years, our group has focused on the development of efficient synthetic protocols for creating versatile fluorine-containing organic molecules and has successfully accomplished the novel synthesis of a wide variety of organofluorine compounds. Recently, our group is undertaking the following studies:
(1) The synthetic approach and application of organofluorine compounds with a tetrafluoroethylene (-CF2CF2-) fragment: Much attention has come to be paid to organic molecules containing a perfluoroalkylene structure because such molecules are well known to possess specific biological functions. Among them, our group has developed effective synthetic approaches for CF2CF2-containing organic compounds, e.g., fluorine-containing sugars, liquid crystals, and partially fluorinated polymers, and evaluated their physical characteristics.
(2) The development of fluorinated organic molecules with both liquid-crystalline (LC) and solid-state light-emitting properties: There have been a number of reports thus far on fluorine-containing liquid crystals recognizing that fluorine atoms bring about intriguing and prominent LC properties. To create next-generation light-emitting materials, we have designed fluorine-containing LC molecules with solid-state light-emitting characteristics and equipped novel fluorinated organic molecules with LC and light-emitting properties.
Polymers play an essential role as key materials in significant areas of our lives. Our research focuses on: 1) synthesis and application of reactive oligomers through chain polymerization; 2) construction of uniquely structured polymers through the addition of combinations of macromonomers, macroinitiators and telechelic polymers to living anionic polymerization and living radical polymerization; 3) studies of the impact of unique structures, such as branch and cyclic structures, on polymer molecular properties, self-organizing structures and bulk properties; 4) increase in performance and functionality by modifying the surface of inorganic fine particles and controlling the dispersion of inorganic fine particles in the polymer matrix, and molecular designing of surfactant polymers and amphiphilic polymers; 5) control of metallic surfaces with organic substances, and control and functionality of organic-metal interfaces; and 6) molecular properties and application of pi-conjugated polymers. We are making the influential and useful information gained at our university available to the world.

Research themes: Design of functionalized polymeric materials which use reactive polymers/oligomers
Keywords: Reactive polymers/Oligomers/Polymer architectures/Living anionic polymerization/Organic-inorganic hybrid materials/Surface modification
Precision Organic Materials Chemistry Applied Complex Materials Chemistry
Our laboratory focuses on precision polymer synthesis and molecular programming in order to design unique macromolecular architectures and molecular assemblies exhibiting extraordinary functions. Precision synthesis of polymers has attracted much attention due to the potential ability for providing advanced materials in a variety of scientific fields. By using living/controlled polymerization techniques, we develop the novel synthetic pathways to well-defined functional polymers with well-defined structures such as controlled molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, functionalization of terminal and/or pendant moieties, and repeat-unit sequences. We also investigate in detail the relationships between molecular structure and functional characteristics. We then feedback the obtained knowledge into better designing of a variety of organic functional materials. Furthermore, polymer aggregate or polymer complex formation by intermolecular interactions of the programmed macromolecules and oligomers as nano-size molecular parts are expected to yields advanced materials having either new or amplified functions. We also study the controlled synthesis of smart polymers with stimuli-responsive properties and fabrication of novel functional materials based on biomimetic technology.

Research themes: Novel organic functional materials which use precisely controlled polymer synthesis
Keywords: Living/Controlled polymerization/Self-assembly of polymers and oligomers/Biomimetic polymers/Surface functionalized materials/Stimuli-responsive polymers
Our laboratory uses organic synthetic chemistry combined with polymer and inorganic synthesis methods to develop organic/inorganic hybrid molecules, complexes, and nanocomposite materials. To develop organic materials that are innovative in a broader sense requires research chemists who are highly aware of the importance of mastering fundamental chemical reaction and interaction. Our research identifies basic electron transfer methods on a molecular level to control chemical reactions and interactions, and complex formation at the interface of organic and inorganic substances, with the aim of developing original functional molecules and materials. The final objectives of the research are not only to control functional molecular structures, but also to control hierarchical structures at the molecular level through complex electron transfer formation.

Research themes: Innovative materials based on elements
Keywords: Polymer chemistry/Organic-inorganic hybrid/Inorganic polymer/Supramolecular chemistry/Main group element chemistry