Researcher List

Laboratories in Department of Applied Chemistry

[Organic Functional Chemistry Field] Supramolecular Chemistry Laboratory
Prof. Masahiro MURAOKA

Examples of interlocked molecules
Examples of interlocked molecules

Interlocked molecules, such as rotaxanes and catenanes, have an interesting structure in which they are interpenetrated to each other via supramolecular interactions (noncovalent bonding) that occur between plural molecules. With the recent technological development of organic synthesis, a wide variety of interlocked molecules have been synthesized and applied to molecular shuttles, molecular machines, molecular switches, molecular rotors, and so on. We are now trying to develop novel interlocked molecules for molecular switches, molecular sensors, and molecular recognition devices by taking advantage of their characteristic dynamic properties and three-dimensional structures.

Main Research Topics

  • Synthesis and characterization of external stimuli responsive rotaxanes
  • Application of cryptand-based rotaxanes towards to ion sensors and molecular switches
  • Synthesis of stimuli responsive daisy-chain rotaxanes
  • Synthesis of mechanically planar chiral rotaxanes

[Molecular Recognition Chemistry Field] Analytical and Recognition Chemistry Laboratory
Prof. Takayo MORIUCHI-Kawakami

Chemical sensors for clinical and cellular observation
Chemical sensors for clinical and cellular observation

Our group is interested in the use of ion and molecular recognition for chemical sensing. And, our group aims to understand and develop chemical sensors for clinical and environmental applications. We use electrochemical and optical readout principles for this purpose. A major direction is the design and syntheses of new ionophores and fluorophores that bind analytes of interest with high selectivity. On the other hand, we also develop a new analytical evaluation method for plasticized polymers and membranes with proton spin-spin relaxation times (T2).

Main Research Topics

  • Development of biomimetic type of temperature-sensitive ion sensors
  • Development of ion-selective electrodes using amino acids and oligopeptides
  • Development of a fluorescent probe detecting zinc ions in food
  • Research on a new analytical evaluation method of plasticized polymers
  • Design and syntheses of new compounds with molecular recognition properties

[Advanced Polymer Materials Field] Advanced Particulate Materials Laboratory
Prof. Syuji FUJII

Electron micrograph of advanced polymeric film
Electron micrograph of advanced polymeric film

Advanced Particulate Materials Laboratory promotes the research on soft materials. Soft materials include plastics, rubber, fibers, colloids, gels, liquid crystals, and biopolymers such as proteins and DNA that form our bodies. These materials play an important role in a wide range of fields such as medicine, food, information, paints, adhesives, and cosmetics.

Main Research Topics

  • Particle-stabilized soft dispersion systems (emulsions, foams, liquid marbles)
  • Creation of functional materials based on particle-stabilized soft dispersion systems (emulsions, foams, liquid marbles) as a platform
  • Synthesis of functional particles

[Inorganic Materials Chemistry Field] Inorganic Photoenergy Chemistry Laboratory

Inorganic Photoenergy Chemistry Laboratory

Our laboratory focuses on developing photo-functional materials that can convert inexhaustible sunlight into electricity and material energy. In particular, we consider the development of visible-light photocatalyst, photo-electrodes (n-type and p-type) as well as solar cells to utilize sunlight as much as possible.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of highly efficient visible-light responsible photocatalysts for environmental purification and selective organic synthesis.
  • Development of semiconductor photoelectrodes such as CuInS2, Cu2ZnSnS4, BiVO4 by electrodeposition, and their application to water splitting.
  • Fabrication of such quantum dots as CuInS2 fabricated in environmentally friendly aqueous solutions, and their applications to the solar cells.

[Synthetic Chemistry Field] Organic Polymer Laboratory

Epoxy resin with amine-intercalated zirconium phosphate
Epoxy resin with amine-intercalated zirconium phosphate
Left: Before curing reaction, Right: After thermosetting reaction

In the Organic Polymer Laboratory, we study on various synthetic reactions based on polymer synthesis. For example, we conduct the reaction of organic compounds intercalated into regularly controlled nanolevel layers of inorganic layered compounds. Based on this technology, we are developing new adhesives, paints, and resin molding materials.

Main Research Topics

  • Curing behavior of epoxy resins using zirconium phosphate intercalated with amines as a potential catalyst
  • Study on the intercalation behavior of guest molecules into inorganic layered compounds

[Materials and Life Chemistry Field] Synthesis of Materials with Special Functions Laboratory
Prof. Araki MASUYAMA

Effective Oxone-oxidation system of alkenes in water promoted by amphiphilic ketones.
Effective Oxone-oxidation system of alkenes in water promoted by amphiphilic ketones.

We are conducting a variety of research based on "organic industrial chemistry". Specifically, 1) We are interested in preparation of high-performance surfactants bearing additional functions besides fundamental surface-active properties. Preparation of novel surfactants derived from natural products such as carbohydrates is also an object of our study; 2) We are investigating new oxidation reaction systems carried out in water. They are very highly attractive from the viewpoint of safety and environmental impact; 3) We are developing many multidrug-resistant anti-malarial drugs based on peroxide chemistry to eradicate malaria, one of the world's three major infectious diseases.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of novel functional surfactants
  • Development of new oxidation reaction systems in water
  • Development of new multidrug-resistant antimalarial drugs

[Advanced Polymer Materials Field] Composite Materials Laboratory
Prof. Yoshinobu NAKAMURA

The pattern of the adhesive tape coming off.
The pattern of the adhesive tape coming off.

Many of the materials in smartphones are assembled using gluing and adhesive techniques. The same is true for automobiles, where research is being done to replace welded joints with adhesives. At a more microscopic level, when trying to create a composite material that combines the strength of ceramics with the processability of polymers, adhesion at the interface between ceramic particles and polymers is the key. I am researching adhesion technology, which is the core of manufacturing today.

Main Research Topics

  • Analysis of stringiness behavior of soft materials
  • Elucidation of the adhesion mechanism of pressure-sensitive adhesives
  • Structural analysis of the interphase of polymer composite materials
  • Development of adhesives for preserving ancient Egyptian remains

[Molecular Recognition Chemistry Field] Environmental Analysis Laboratory
Associate Prof. Keiichi FUJIMORI

Chemiluminescence in hydrogen sulfide measurement
Chemiluminescence in hydrogen sulfide measurement

The key words in the name of our laboratory are "environment" and "analysis". The first step in researching the environment is to understand the current situation. It is important to know how much environmental pollutants are present. Carbon dioxide emitted would cause climate change. If carbon dioxide were completely eliminated from the atmosphere, plants would not be extinct. There is an appropriate concentration of chemical substances in the environment. Suitable analytical methods for sample matrix are selected, because an analyte can be accurately and precisely measured. We clarify behavior of chemical substances in the environment by using of chemiluminescence method.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of sensors for deep-sea exploration using chemiluminescence
  • Research on sensitized chemiluminescence using immobilized fluorescent materials
  • Application of optical fiber and air lensing effects to chemiluminescence
  • Research on chemiluminescence mechanism

[Synthetic Chemistry Field] Catalytic Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Associate Prof. Atsushi OHTAKA

Metal nanoparticles stabilized in polystyrene
Metal nanoparticles stabilized in polystyrene

In our laboratory, we are developing a method to use organic substances, which are "oil", for targeted reactions "in water" with the goal of "easily reproducing various reactions that take place in living organisms (in water) in a flask". We also aim to develop new reactions in water using small metal particles called "metal nanoparticles" as catalysts.

Main Research Topic

  • Development of novel catalytic reaction systems for precise organic synthesis in water

[Materials and Life Chemistry Field] Natural Product Chemistry Laboratory
Associate Prof. Shoji KOBAYASHI

Yamabushitake (medicinal mushroom) and its organic components
Yamabushitake (medicinal mushroom) and its organic components

Living organisms produce a myriad of structurally unique organic molecules (so-called “natural products”). Our laboratory focuses on the chemical synthesis of natural products to advance research and development of new medicines, agrochemicals, cosmetics, flavorings, and nutritional supplements. Throughout the research, we endeavor to reduce the number of synthetic steps, cumbersome purifications, harmful solvents, undesirable byproducts and waste materials, with green chemistry perspectives requisite for the advanced organic synthesis of the 21st century.

Main Research Topics

  • Total synthesis, structure elucidation, and structure-activity relationships of bioactive molecules derived from fungi, plants, and seaweeds
  • Synthesis of novel bioactive molecules starting from structurally complex abundant natural terpenoids
  • Development of green synthetic reactions and methods

[Organic Functional Chemistry Field] Materials Chemistry for Energy Conversion Laboratory
Associate Prof. Michihisa MURATA

Materials Chemistry for Energy Conversion Laboratory
Materials Chemistry for Energy Conversion Laboratory

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.

Main Research Topics

  • Organic materials for flexible thermoelectric devices
  • Organic materials and metal complexes for photovoltaic devices
  • Physical organic chemistry for novel π-conjugated systems

[Advanced Polymer Materials Field] Advanced Functional Materials Laboratory
Associate Prof. Tomoyasu HIRAI

Advanced Functional Materials Laboratory

Existence of the interface strongly affects in the various kinds of fields such as material synthesis and its functional properties. The aim of our research group is to understand relation between structure and physical properties in polymeric materials using a precise synthesis method and synchrotron radiation experiments.

Main Research Topics

  • Development of functional polymer materials
  • Investigation of novel polymerization methods
  • Structural characterization using synchrotron radiation

[Molecular Recognition Chemistry Field] Metal Complex Catalysis Laboratory
Associate Prof. Masanari HIRAHARA

Metal Complex Catalysis Laboratory

In recent years, much attention has been paid to the photochemistry of metal complexes. We are interested in the basic photochemical reaction of these metal complexes and their various applications. Our group is investigating research on ruthenium complexes that respond to external stimuli toward the applications for as vesicles, catalysts, and anticancer agents.

Main Research Topics

  • Photochemistry of ruthenium complexes
  • Molecular catalysts for artificial photosynthesis
  • Metallodrugs
  • Stimuli-responsive molecular assembly
  • Stimuli-responsive catalysts

[Synthetic Chemistry Field] Inorganic Polymer Laboratory
Assistant Prof. Yoshimasa MATSUMURA

Inorganic Polymer Laboratory

Bismuth is a unique heavy element. To develop functional polymers reflecting upon the features of bismuth, such as high atomic refractivity and X-ray shielding properties, we are developing the synthesis of novel functional polymers possessing bismuth by the design of stable bismuth monomers and their polymerizations.

Main Research Topics

  • Synthesis of bismuth-containing polymers
  • Synthesis of reactive π-conjugated polymers
  • Electropolymerization of carbon disulfide