[Exploring Unknown Materials]Exploring Innovative Materials in Unknown Search Space

Strategic Objective

Opening up of unexplored exploration space of materials with multi-element, composite, and metastable phases based on elements strategy

Research supervisor


Hiroshi Kitagawa(Professor, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)


 This research area aims to create new materials with innovative functions by drawing out the latent potential of chemical elements to the fullest extent through the synergy of multiple elements. More specifically, we are expanding materials search space into unknown areas, such as multi-component compounds, multi-element systems, and metastable phases, regardless of whether these materials are inorganic or organic. We are emphasizing strategic initiatives that will promote efficient materials searches.
 Regarding multi-component compounds, new molecules and solid materials made by undeveloped combination of elements, or nanosystems formed with heterogenous junctions or building units may realize innovative functions. In terms of multi-element system, one may discover a variety of new phases (e.g., crystalline phases, amorphous phases, electron phases, and spin phases) and design materials positively using diverse types of defects. As for metastable phases, one may develop new materials through kinetic-control processes or nonequilibrium synthesis, realize desired crystalline phases and physical properties, enhance ion diffusion, battery capacity, and catalytic reaction, and control reversible phases. Also, one may even discover simple and useful materials like the allotropes of carbon (fullerene, diamond, —-). Other than the above, we welcome new concepts for designing materials, for example, informatics that adopt human insight, intuition, and sensitivity.
 We expect the goal of each research team to be the development of effective methods to create materials, including computational science/data science/high-throughput screening methods/nonequilibrium processes/in-situ measurements that are directly connected to informatics; proof of the development of novel functionalities or significant improvements in functionalities and durability. The outcomes of this research area will be integrated to construct the science of the advanced usage of elements and the foundation for creating new functional materials.

Research Area Advisors

Megumi Akai-Kasaya Professor, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
Yoshihiro Iwasa Deputy Director, Center for Emergent Matter Science, RIKEN
Osami Sakata Executive Managing Director, Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute
Tetsuya Shoji Project Head, Advanced Data Scinence Management Div. AD-8, Toyota Motor Corporation
Satoshi Sugimoto Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
Shinji Tsuneyuki Professor, School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Masayuki Nagamine Managing Director, Center for Advanced Battery Collaboration, National Institute for Materials Science/Professor, Department of Materials Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Shinshu University
Shin Fukuda Researcher, Catalysis Surface Research Division nisitute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University
Kazuyuki Fujie Staff Researcher, Research Institute for Advanced Materials and Devices, Kyocera Corporation
Tadashi Furuhara Professor, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University

Research Projects

  1. Year Started : 2021
  2. Year Started : 2022
  3. Year Started : 2023

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