With the advent of modern nanotechnology, we believe that tiny organic devices with excellent functionalities will be assembled in the near future. To do so, each of the components of these systems must be as small and/or thin as possible. In such systems, polymers play a central role as it would be hard to imagine materials other than polymers to construct these components. When polymers, like with other materials, decrease in size, the ratio of the surfaces and the interfaces against the total volume drastically increases. Since the surfaces and interfaces are in different energy states compared with the inside (bulk), structures and physical properties at surfaces and interfaces are supposed to be different from the corresponding bulk ones. Thus, if we are able to precisely understand and control the structure and the physical properties on the surfaces and at the interfaces, the performance of the polymeric materials will be promisingly improved. Under this concept, we have been doing experimental works focusing on polymer science, physical chemistry and surface science.
Polymer Interface Design Group
The group’s primary objective is the development of various functional materials using precision molecular design and polymer synthesis. One study is focused towards the construction of polymer interfaces to create well-defined functional polymers promised at facilitating life and/or green innovations. Another is the development of novel surface modifiers by utilizing the thermodynamic surface segregation of the polymers having specific architectures.
Structure and Physical Properties Research Group
The objective of the group is to carry out studies aimed at understanding the local conformation and the hierarchical dynamics of polymer chains at solid/liquid interfaces at the molecular level. The information that can be derived from these studies should lead to the construction of highly functionalized polymer-based nanocomposites. Another objective of the group involves the investigation of the reactions of polymers carried out at confined states such as on the surfaces and at the interfaces.
Biomaterials Interface Group
The objective this group is to understand phenomena occurring at the interfaces between synthetic polymer and organism aimed at establishing cell control systems based on the physical properties of polymer materials. In addition, the fabrication of novel structural materials based on biomacromolecules is also targeted.
Device Interface Group
The aim of this group is to understand the relationship among aggregation state, molecular motion and dynamics of excitons at the interfaces of organic devices such as organic thin-film transistors, organic photovoltaics and thermoelectric devices.
Supramolecular Interface Group
The group studies the interactions in and structures of soft materials. One specific goal is the understanding of the time and spatial heterogeneities as well as the hierarchy in their viscoelastic properties. Such approach should lead to a universal interpretation and control of the self-assembly processes (such as the sol-gel transition of supramolecular gels; formation of worm-like micelles; assembly of lyotropic liquid crystals, etc.) of these materials. Another objective of the group is the development of functional materials having a dynamic interface on the basis of the self-assembly of main and side chains in polymers
Room: 302, Building West-3