Saddle-shaped Geodesic Phenine Frameworks (GPF)

A saddle-shaped nanocarbon molecule was synthesized by adopting a geodesic phenine framework (GPF) design with one heptagon and seven hexagons of trisubstituted benzene (phenine). The unique saddle-shaped structure persisted, even though the local molecular structures fluctuated. The dynamic motions, persisted even in its stacked form, were reminiscent of swimming motions of a stingray's fin. GPF chemistry may deepen our understanding of curved graphitic sheets.

Friction-free, inertial motions in a molecular world

In the molecular world, typical, back-and-forth motions are known as Brownian motions. Here we discovered friction-free, inertial rotations of a spherical molecule bound tightly in a tubular molecule. The supramolecular system, named molecular bearing, was found inertially dynamic in the solid state, which is another unexpected discovery. Smooth, friction-free rotations in molecular bearings might lead us further new discoveries.

Double helix of helical nanocylinders

Rigid, nanosized cylindrical molecules formed a double helix in crystals. The right-handed nanocylinders formed a left-handed double helix, and the left-handed nanocylinders formed a right-handed double helix. When dispersed in solution, the nanocylinders recorded the largest dissymmetry factor ever recorded with organic molecules for circularly polarized luminescence.

Nanometer-sized Geodesic Phenylene Bowl

A nanometer-sized geodesic phenylene bowl was designed and synthesized by a combination of pentagon and hexagon arrays. The polygons mimic defective sites on nanocarbons to afford a molecule with a colander-like structure. The bowl formed a bowl-in-bowl assembly through a convex-concave stack. The results may shed a new light on curved π-systems.

Self-sorting of two-wheeled molecular bearing

A two-wheeled molecular bearing comprising of two tubular receptors and one carbonaceous dumbbell-shaped guest was assembled. The tubular receptor recognizes the counterpart receptor, which allows for self-sorting of stereoisomeric receptors in a narcissistic manner. The discrimination of isomeric receptors is driven purely by van der Waals interactions, which may deepen our understanding of self-sorting behaviors taking place in Nature.

Structural chemistry/mathematics of belt-shaped nanohoop molecules

A belt-shaped cyclic array of aromatic panels, nanohoop, is expected to deepen our understanding of carbon nanotubes by providing discrete, segmental structures. The structural fluctuation/rigidity of nanohoops originate from the panel rotations, which have been revealed by a team of chemists and mathematicians. The fundamental knowledge of static and dynamic structures may facilitate the development of nanohoop chemistry.

Negative electrode materials from aromatic hydrocarbon macrocycle

A hydrocarbon macrocycle designed as a model molecule of defective graphene turned out to be an excellent material for negative electrodes of all-solid-state lithium rechargeable batteries. The capacity surpassed those of conventional graphite materials, which originated from nanoporous structures created by pore alignments of molecules.

One for All

We developed one molecule for all the requisite functions in phosphorescent single-layer OLEDs. The simple molecule that is composed solely of hydrogen and carbon atoms transports hole, transports electron, provides a place for their recombination and fills the phosphor with excited energy to facilitate the emission in a quantitative manner.

Slippery Smooth Surface inside Carbon Nanotubes

It was a slippery smooth surface of carbon nanotube molecules that allowed rapid dynamic motions of inner spherical guests. We now shed a (high-flux X-ray) light on the inner "mysterious world” of carbon nanotubes and revealed the atomic-level structures of a dynamic supramolecular system.

Geometric measures (“rulers”) for finite lengths of carbon nanotubes

Geometric measures have been proposed to describe the length of finite carbon nanotube molecules. By utilizing a web-based applet for this “rulers”, anyone can readily compare the length of finite carbon nanotubes with discrete molecular structures.

Bottom-up Synthesis of Zigzag Finite Carbon Nanotube Molecule

A finite carbon nanotube molecule of a zigzag form has been chemically synthesized. We now have all three nanotubes, that is, helical, armchair and zigzag, notably with an identical chemical composition. They are mutually the true isomers of single-wall carbon nanotubes.

Plenty of π on A Tube

New tubular macrocycles with a maximum electrons of 120π have been synthesized from a abundantly available pigment. We now have longer finite SWNT molecules of helical and armchair forms in quantity.

A Nano-sized Bearing of Finite Carbon Nanotube and Fullerene Molecules

A carbonaceous bearing of a minimal form has been assembled with a finite carbon nanotube molecule and a functionalised fullerene molecule. With the van der Waals attraction, the bearing holds the fullerene journal tightly to avoid its run-out motion, and the journal with a shaft rolls anisotropically in the bearing despite of the tight holding constraint.

Bottom-up Synthesis of Helical `&` Armchair Carbon Nanotube Molecules

Finite carbon nanotube molecules of helical and armchair forms have been synthesized. The macrocyclic arylene molecules posses persistent belt-shape, which successfully mimics the wall of carbon nanotubes.

Our Mission

Research Director Hiroyuki ISOBE Ph.D, Professor

This project aims to create "degenerate π-integrated solid" to lead the advancement in solid state physics and materials science for functions and materials of the post-nanocarbon era.


Ratchet-free solid-state inertial rotation of a guest ball in a tight tubular host.
Assistant prof. Koki Ikemoto received the CSJ Presentation Award 2018.
Dr. Masayuki Suda received The Young Scientists’ Prize, The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Group Leader, Dr. Ryotaro Arita was appointed to the professor of School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo.
Group Leader, Dr. Ryotaro Arita received The 23rd Outstanding Paper Award of the Physical Society of Japan.
Prof. Hiroyuki Isobe received the Fujifilm Prize for Functional Materials from the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan.
Prof. Hiroyuki Isobe was awarded the Molecular Science Lectureship of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Chirality in nanoscale cylinders: Chiral double helix formation and strongest circularly polarized luminescence.
Assitant prof. Tomoko Fujino received the Ohtsuka Award (ISNAC Outstanding Oral Presentation Award for Young Scientist 2017).
The laboratory of Isobe Degenerate π-Integration Project in the University of Tokyo received Good Design Award 2017.
Assistant prof. Masayuki Suda received the 66th CSJ Award for Young Chemists.
Prof. Hiroyuki Isobe received the 33rd Inoue Prize for Science.
Assistant prof. Koki Ikemoto received the 33rd Inoue Research Award for Young Scientists.
Self-sorting of two hydrocarbon receptors with one carbonaceous ligand.
AIMResearch featured our research "Carbon nanostructures: In the loop".
Postdoctoral positions available.(closed)
AIMResearch featured our research: "Lithium-ion batteries: Nanocarbon electrodes are true lifesavers".
Stereoisomerism, crystal structures, and dynamics of belt-shaped cyclonaphthylenes.
AIMResearch featured our research: “Photonics: Multitasking molecule simplifies organic LED design”.
Carbon-rich Active Materials with Macrocyclic Nanochannels for High-Capacity Negative Electrodes in All-Solid-State Lithium Rechargeable Battery.
Research Director, Prof. Isobe received the title of Professor Emeritus at Tohoku University.
Research Director, Prof. Isobe was appointed to the professor of the Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo.
Prof. Hiroyuki Isobe received The CSJ Award for Creative Work from the Chemical Society of Japan.
One for all: One aromatic hydrocarbon macrocycle enables a highly-efficient, phosphorescent single-layer OLEDs.
Dr. Ryotaro Arita received the 2015 Ryogo Kubo Memorial Prize.
Dr. Sota Sato received the Young Scientists’ Prize, the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
A nano-sized top rolls with precession and spin motions.
Prof. Hiroyuki Isobe received the Honorary International Chair Professorship of the National Taipei University of Technology.
Effects of π-lengthening of tubular molecules on molecular peapod formation have been revealed.
The laboratory of Isobe Degenerate π-Integration Project received Good Design Award 2014.
One-pot Ni-mediated synthesis brought meta-linked cyclophenylenes back as modern electronic materials in OLED devices.
Dr. Sota Sato received the 2014 JSCC Research Encouragement Award.
A slippery smooth surface inside carbon nanotube molecules has been revealed at the atomic level.
A web-based applet for geometric measures of finite carbon nanotube molecules has been released.
Geometric measures for finite carbon nanotube molecules have been proposed.
web site was released.