[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 / Professor, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University
Yoshihiro Iwasa Professor, Quantum-Phase Electronics Center, The University of Tokyo / Professor, Department of Applied Physics, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Osami Sakata Director, Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research, Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute
Tetsuya Shoji Chief Professional Engineer, Advanced Material Engineering Division, Toyota Motor Corporation
Satoshi Sugimoto Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
Shinji Tsuneyuki Professor, School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Masayuki Nagamine Chief Material Researcher, Module Engineering Group, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Shin Fukuda Councilor, R&D Center, Mistui Chemicals Inc.
Kazuyuki Fujie Staff Researcher, Research Institute for Advanced Materials and Devices, Kyocera Corporation
Tadashi Furuhara Professor / Director, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University

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