Materials Synthesis

materialssynthesis1Using a comprehensive approach to molecular-level material design and precision synthesis development as well as conducting education and research in structural transformation and molecular organization, we take a bottom-up approach toward developing materials with advanced function and performance at the atomic/molecular level.


Laboratory Information

Function-oriented Synthetic Chemistry laboratory Polymer Organic Chemistry laboratory
Synthetic organic chemistry is the core technology for creating functional organic molecules such as biomolecules and optoelectronic materials. Research in synthetic organic chemistry aims to create valuable new molecules and establish efficient synthetic methods for their use. We conduct the following research with these two goals in mind : (1) Development of synthetic organic reactions, reagents, and synthetic strategies to effectively synthesize target molecules (ex. development of cross-coupling reactions using polymetallic reagents and synthetic reactions taking advantage of the chemical properties of hetero-elements); (2) Design, synthesis, and evaluation of organic molecules with biological and material functions, and establishment of a principle of functional expression (creation of luminescent, semiconducting, and photoelectronic conversion materials, etc.); and (3) Design and synthesis of molecules mimicking biomolecular functions and the construction of highly controlled self-organizing supramolecules using molecular recognition. We are involved in two major areas of research.
The first area is research into applications that use the molecular recognition effect from the interaction between organic compounds for the separation of mixtures. Beginning with the preparation of separation media designed based on this concept, we analyze compound structure and characteristics, attempt to exceed existing material functionality as much as possible, and look for biological and environmental applications. We are currently developing a system to simultaneously separate and detect thousands of different substances in an attempt to separate and determine the structure of peptides, proteins and carbohydrate chains, to increase the speed of separation and structure determination, as well as to improve functionality.
The other major area is research into the development of new polymers and biodegradation materials that can be synthesized from recyclable resources.
The recyclable resource we are focusing on is pyruvic acid, and we are progressing, from core research through to applications, to develop new polymers with this resource that are endowed with superior functionality.
Synthetic Molecular Chemistry laboratory Organofluorine Chemistry laboratory
Synthetic organic reactions are the foundations of manufacturing and are essential to the manufacture of organic materials, medicines and agricultural chemicals. In this field of research we research the design, synthesis, structural analysis and evaluation of highly-functional catalysts and new reaction environments, with the aim of developing effective and highly selective next-generation synthetic organic reactions. Some of the main research tasks that have been identified are: developmental research in asymmetrical synthesis using chiral Lewis acid catalysts which can create large amounts of optically active material from asymmetric sources; development of convergent reaction of carbon skeleton construction using the characteristics of organometallic compound reactions; synthesis of water-soluble capsule molecules and development of synthetic organic reactions in water within the capsule, which are anticipated to be a next-generation organic synthesis method with reduced environmental impact; and the use of multiple intermolecular interactions to control electron transfer reactions. Below are some of the benefits gained by adding fluorine atoms to organic molecules: increased chemical, heat and weather resistance; improved water and oil repellency and resistance to dirt; reducing the refractive index; improved non-adherency; and increased medicine efficacy and options. Due to these benefits, fluorine compounds have been used in such applications as medicines, agricultural chemicals, liquid crystal materials, and more recently, in fuel cell electrolyte membranes. In this field we are progressing with the following developmental research for such new high value-added fluorine compounds.
(1) Identifying fluoroalkene and alkyne reactivity and related applications: we are working on the development of methods to synthesize highly regio- and stereoselective fluorine-containing alkynes, which are important as functional materials, by utilizing reactions between trifluoroalkene derivates and various metal reagents, and through hydrometallization or carbometallization reactions of fluorine-containing alkynes;
(2) Development of methods to construct fluoroalkyl-based asymmetrical carbon structures: with potential applications in liquid crystal materials and biologically active substances in mind, we research highly stereoselective synthesis methods for compounds with fluoroalkyl-based asymmetric centers using asymmetric aldol reactions with fluorine-containing enolates, Reformatsky reactions, asymmetric conjugate addition reactions using chiral catalysts, and asymmetric formic acid reduction reactions.
Functional Polymeric Materials laboratory Precision Organic Materials Chemistry laboratory
Polymers are essential materials that help form the foundation of modern society. In this field we carry out the following activities: synthesis and application of reactive oligomers through chain polymerization; construction of uniquely structured polymers by adding combinations of macromonomers, macro-initiators and telechelic polymers to living anionic polymerization and living radical polymerization; studies of the impact of branch structure, cyclic structure and other unique structures on polymer molecular characteristics, self-organizing structures and bulk properties; increasing performance and functionality through inorganic fine particle surface modification and controlling the dispersion of inorganic fine particles in the polymer matrix; surface active polymer and amphipathic polymer molecular design; metallic surface control with organic matter and control and functionality of organic-metallic interface; and research on the characteristics and applications of pi-conjugated polymers. The hope for the research above is that our university can become a source of valuable information that has an impact around the world. In this field we conduct research on the precision design of functional polymer materials and functional molecular aggregates. To create new polymer materials with superior functionality, we utilize precision polymerization where the structural factors of the polymer molecules, such as molecular weight, molecular weight distribution and the types and alignments of functional groups, are closely controlled to actually synthesize these polymers, and we then investigate in detail the relationship between molecule structure and functional characteristics. We then cascade this knowledge into more appropriate molecular design of functional organic materials. Furthermore, there is the expectation that making molecular aggregates of functional organic materials can enhance their functionality, by either revealing new functionality, or by amplifying existing functionality. We therefore conduct research concerning the precision design of the nano-size molecular components, the control of the higher order structures of these molecular aggregates, and on their functional control.
Interface Material Chemistry laboratory Applied Complex Materials Chemistry laboratory
Interface materials are active in the micro-sized world between two materials that do not combine with each other, and control the characteristics of the whole substance.
In this field, we use synthetic organic chemistry and interface chemistry to conduct research into the organic materials active in these interface regions. Using synthetic organic chemistry, we synthesize surfactants with new types of structures, such as fluorine-containing surfactants, gemini surfactants, bicephalic surfactants, surfactants with a reactive group, surfactants with pigment structures and polymer surfactants, and utilize a number of interface analysis methodologies to understand the relationship between surfactant structure and properties, and also target real life applications of the research performed. We also conduct research by targeting the solid/gas or solid/liquid interfaces, and align the interface function molecules on the solid surface (interface) at the molecular level to control the functionality.
We also conduct multi-faceted research on the various functions (phenomena) displayed by interface materials.
Our laboratory uses organic synthetic chemistry combined with polymer and inorganic synthesis methods to develop organic/inorganic hybrid molecules and 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 knowledge and can control reactions and interactions. Our research identifies basic electron transfer methods on a truly 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.


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