Materials Chemistry and Engineering Course

As Japan is a nation with few natural resources, its continued prosperity and ability to lead the international community into the future is dependent on scientific and technological advances that are rich in ingenuity and originality for the active manufacture of new products. The development of new creative substances and materials and the creation of novel functions are important aspects of science and technology that form the basis of manufacturing. Chemistry is the only academic discipline that can support these goals.

When molecules and atoms form aggregates, condensed matter is created with the expression of various interesting functions and physical properties. It is important for students to understand the underlying principles according to which high-level functions manifest themselves in these substances. It is also essential for them to learn synthetic methods to create new functions through the development of new organic polymers, inorganic materials, metallic materials and composite materials made from combinations of them. Various material functions manifest themselves according to the structures of aggregates at various levels, such as the electronic states of their constituent elements, chemical bonds between elements and crystalline structures. Students on this course will master ways to handle such materials using the quantum theory approach as well as studying fundamental principles such as chemical thermodynamics and equilibrium theory. They will learn that materials with unprecedented advanced functions can be created by combining the various physical properties of materials represented by electrical conductors, semiconductors, piezoelectric substances, dielectric substances, magnetic substances, fluorescent substances, and heat- and corrosion-resistant substances. Another important challenge for them is to learn how to develop materials that will help lead the next generation, including nanoceramics, nanomaterials and materials with optical functions, and to evaluate their physical properties.

The main characteristic of this course is its provision of comprehensive programs in condensed-matter chemistry. Such programs begin with organic and complex molecular system study based on theories involving the synthesis of various molecular assemblies (e.g., metal complexes) and the expression of their functions. They also cover inorganic systems to clarify the chemistry of a range of materials and substances involved in the creation of inorganic materials, including functional metals, oxides and ceramics. Students will also learn about advanced materials systems, which use material chemistry to leverage the characteristics of various substances (centering on inorganic materials) for energy conversion. The Materials Chemistry and Engineering Course offers educational programs through the four research groups outlined below.

Molecular Materials Chemistry Unit

Leveraging the diversity of complex molecular systems is essential in the field of molecular materials to express high-level functions in which particles such as molecules, electrons and photons are correlated. Man-made complex molecular materials have the potential to allow the creation of higher-level functions than anticipated with existing materials. To develop such functions, this research group provides educational and research programs designed to teach students material design and development methods for the creation of molecular materials, metal complexes, molecular assemblies and artificial superlattices. Students will also learn structural analysis and research approaches for elucidating functional expression mechanisms.

Inorganic Materials Chemistry Unit

Inorganic materials are highly resistant to heat and corrosion, and have a variety of crystalline structures based on combinations of various elements. A wide range of functions including electrical, magnetic and optical properties can be realized by controlling the elections states based on the structures. PCs, mobile phones, optical communication networks and other products, which are indispensable in modern daily life, contain various inorganic materials with useful functions. This research group provides educational and research programs to ensure that students learn the basics of designing and developing inorganic materials with advanced functions, conducting structural analysis and evaluating physical properties with advanced functions, conducting structural analysis and evaluating physical properties. The group’s educational program also promotes understanding of thermodynamics such as phase equilibrium and solid-state chemistry based on quantum theory.

Frontier Materials Chemistry Unit

Our research group focuses on synthesis of novel nano and hybrid materials with exellent chemical and physical properties and interfacial design of materials for efficient energy conversion and for prevention of environmental degradation of materials. Structural dexign of materials in atomic and nanometer scale and hybridization of nanomaterials, as well as control of interfacial structure of materials,are of key issues for fabrication of innovative functional materials for next generation. Our research group provides educational and research programs involving the development and characterization of a range of functional and durable materials to address global environmental and energy in the 21st Century.

Functional Materials Chemistry Unit

To develop the new materials needed by society, such as those with superconductivity, photo-catalysts and solid electrolytes, it is necessary to identify highly effective ways to construct and apply materials. This research group provides educational and research programs to give students applicable knowledge involving the characteristics of strongly correlated cutting-edge electronic properties, band structure analysis, nanostructure search and bulk/interface structures. Students will also acquire knowledge of technologies for controlling material structures and developing materials with both microscopic and macroscopic perspectives geared toward the manifestation of physical considerations such as multi-ferroic properties, half-metal properties and photoinduced functions. The group also offers educational and research programs to provide the knowledge and techniques required to develop new promising materials for expansion to applications through advanced material synthesis, refined structural analysis and evaluation of physical properties.