Researcher List

Department of Applied Chemistry

Synthetic Chemistry Field

Synthetic Chemistry Field

In view of the increasing demand for environmentally benign reaction processes, intensive efforts have been directed to reducing or eliminating the use of flammable, hazardous, and nonrenewable organic solvents. The current trend in one of our laboratories is to conduct organic and inorganic syntheses in water, because it is an eco-friendly, nontoxic, and economical solvent.
On the other hand, the simple recovery of catalysts by filtration, and their reuse, enhances the economic viability of the reactions we investigate. At the same time, this promises reductions in the environmental pollution caused by residual metals in waste fluids. Based on these concepts, we promote the development of heterogeneous catalysts that have high catalytic activities for several useful reactions in water.

This field consists of the following three laboratories:

  1. Coordination Chemistry
  2. Organic Polymer
  3. Catalytic Organic Chemistry

Organic Functional Chemistry Field

Organic Functional Chemistry Field

The following two laboratories contribute to this research field:

  1. Supramolecular Chemistry
  2. Various mechanically interlocked molecules such as rotaxanes and catenanes have been prepared with the objective to develop molecular machines. Intense research has recently focused on ways to exploit rotaxanes and catenanes as molecular sensors and catalysts. One focus in this laboratory is the design and synthesis of a number of molecular machines based on pH- and cation-driven switchable interlocked molecules for a variety of applications. These include fluorometric sensors for various guests such as metal cations and organic molecules, as well as artificial nanoscale machines that operate at the molecular and supramolecular level. Research in this laboratory is in general based on organic and supramolecular chemistry, and research projects encompass a rich diversity of topics, such as organic synthesis, host-guest interactions, molecular recognition, and spectroscopy.

  3. Materials Chemistry for Energy Conversion
  4. This laboratory currently focuses on projects that include the design and synthesis of functional π-conjugated organic molecules, metal complexes, and polymers for energy harvesting and/or conversion applications. The development of such materials is of substantial importance on account of their potential utility in flexible devices, e.g. thermoelectric generators or thin-film photovoltaic cells. Furthermore, research pursued in this laboratory is concerned with two- and three-dimensional electron-deficient π-systems, in order to develop n-type semiconducting and low-band-gap materials, as well as intercalation compounds and compounds with solid-state luminescence.

Advanced Polymer Materials Field

Advanced Polymer Materials Field

Soft polymer-based materials are important in a wide range of technological applications and industrial sectors such as adhesives, paints, detergents and cosmetics, foods, rubber in tires, and biomaterials.
Our research activities span a range of areas in soft materials chemistry, including adhesives, polymer blends, surface modification, polymer synthesis, emulsions, foams, liquid marbles, nanoparticles and stimuli-responsive polymer latex. Our overarching, long-term goal is to produce advanced polymer-based materials with functions that cannot be obtained using known classes of materials, and to understand the mechanisms responsible for their unusual functionalities. Our research is based on polymer and interfacial chemistry.

This field consists of the following two laboratories:

  1. Composite Materials
  2. Advanced Particulate Materials

Inorganic Materials Chemistry Field

Inorganic Materials Chemistry Field

In the fields of energy-related technology, the environmental chemistry and biotechnology, the development of advanced inorganic materials is indispensable for progress in modern society. Our group studies broad topics concerning electric devices, sensors, electrochemical synthesis, photocatalysts, solar cells and rechargeable batteries. Our objectives are to design novel functional inorganic materials and develop effective chemical reaction processes that are based on "green sustainable chemistry." Current research activities are as follows:

  • Fabrication of high-performance electric double-layer capacitors
  • Localized surface plasmon resonance sensing properties of Au/TiO2 films
  • Ag nanoparticles deposited on TiO2-coated cicada and butterfly wings as naturally inspired SERS substrates
  • Investigation of structures and scent scale substances of butterflies
  • Electrochemically assisted degradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Fabrication of eco-friendly semiconductors for NOx gas sensors
  • Design of high-performance visible-light responsive photocatalysts that degrade VOCs
  • Design of inorganic quantum-dot solar cells
  • Design and investigation of fast ionic conductors for next generation batteries

This field consists of the following four laboratories

  1. Nano Materials
  2. Environmental Electrochemistry
  3. Inorganic Photochemistry
  4. Solid State Chemistry

Molecular Recognition Chemistry Field

Molecular Recognition Chemistry Field

The recognition of chemical compositions is essential to the understanding of how chemicals function in systems such as living creatures, and their environments. The characteristic properties of such systems often depend on the concentration of trace chemical substances. Calcium ions, for example, control how muscle cells bend when directing the movement of bodies. However, since such compounds are usually present only in small amounts, their measurement often requires troublesome pretreatment and expensive analyzers.
Our mission is to develop new chemical sensors and analytical methods incorporating, for example, an ion selective electrode, a fluorescent probe, chemiluminescence reactions, and pulsed NMR. A sodium sensor that we developed has been used for blood diagnoses. By further developing our research topics, we aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of complex systems and facilitate quality control in the production of industrial products.

This field consists of the following two laboratories:

  1. Recognition Chemistry and Physics Analysis
  2. Environmental Analysis

Materials and Life Chemistry Field

Materials and Life Chemistry Field

This field consists of the following two laboratories:

  1. Synthesis of Materials with Special Functions Laboratory
  2. We are interested in a variety of organic compounds or polymer materials bearing some special functions. Our research topics are as follows:
    1. Development of simple oxidation systems in water (keywords: OxoneR, amphiphilic polymer resins with a function to promote the Oxone-mediated oxidation);
    2. Development of novel surfactants with specific functions (keywords: environmentally benign surfactants, chemo-cleavable surfactants, surfactants derived from natural products);
    3. Development of new antimalarial agents based on organic cyclic peroxides (keywords: multiple drug resistance P. falciparum, 1,2,4,5-tetroxocanes);
    4. Production of BioDiesel Fuel from used deep-fried oils and development of glycerol derivatives with specific functions (keywords: BDF, enzymatic method, generation of electricity).

  3. Natural Product Chemistry Laboratory
  4. Living organisms contain a myriad of organic molecules. We are interested in bioactive molecules that are naturally occurring in plants, mushrooms, seaweeds, and other organisms, because they are precious seeds of medicines, agrochemicals, cosmetics, flavorings, and nutritional supplements. Our research objectives are;
    1) developing efficient synthetic methods that are useful for assembly of complex bioactive molecules,
    2) confirming full structures and stereochemistries of natural products by total synthesis, and
    3) elucidating structure-activity relationship to develop new leading molecules of biological interest.
    We also aim to utilize the readily available, but structurally complicated, natural products as the starting materials of novel bioactive compounds. The general concept is "eco-friendly synthesis" that intends to reduce the number of steps, facilitate purification, use harmless solvents, and minimize undesirable byproducts and waste.