[Hyper Nano-space Design] Creation of Innovative Functional Materials with Advanced Properties by Hyper-nano-space Design

※ Affiliations and titles are as of the end of the research activity.

Strategic Objective

Creation of new functional materials by means of technology for controlling spaces and gaps in advanced materials in order to realize selective material storage, transport, chemical separation, and conversion, etc.

Research Supervisor

Tohru Setoyama (Executive Fellow, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation /Director, Science & Innovasion Center Setoyama Laboratory)


This research area focuses on finding solutions to some of the most important challenges facing human civilization in the 21st century, such as those related to the environment, resources (feed-stocks), energy, medicine, and health, through the development of the technology of hyper-nano-space design to create innovative materials with cutting-edge functions that are not realizable with conventional existing technology.
In particular, the objective of our research is to realize the expression of highly desirable and advanced functions and properties in materials used for the storage, transportation, and separation of energy and chemical resources, catalytic conversion, highly efficient energy conversion, mitigation and removal of environmental contaminants, procurement of potable water, as well as in materials used for medical care and health purposes. Hyper-nano-space design is the sophisticated design and control of the space-and-gap architecture that is formed from the positioning and linking of atoms and molecules; in other words, it is the design and control of the dimension, shape, size, composition, regularity, crystallinity, and interface of materials to create sufficiently differentiated revolutionary functional materials.
Our research subjects include not only widely recognized space-and-gap-controlled materials such as nano-porous materials, meso-porous materials, materials with layered or cage structures, nano-tubes, macro-molecules, supermolecules, biomolecules, and structural materials, but also materials in which the space-and-gap architecture has the potential to be the venue for functional expression. With a team that brings together knowledge across diverse disciplines such as chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, computational science, and measurement technology, we encourage going beyond just fundamental research and setting our sights on realizing functions and properties that can lead to the most advanced materials and products in the world, with possibilities for industrial applications for use in Japan. That is, we want to contribute to Japan’s Renaissance in the 21st century by means of our scientific aspect—hyper-nano-space design.

Research Area Advisors

・Makoto Inomata
Technical Advisor, JGC C&C

・Wataru Ueda
Professor, Kanagawa University

・Hiroshi Kitagawa
Professor, Kyoto University

・Kazuyuki Kuroda
Professor, Waseda University

・Takashi Komaya
President, Mitsubishi Engineering-Plastics Corporation

・Takayoshi Sasaki
Fellow, National Institute for Material Science

・Yuka Tabe
Professor, Waseda University

・Masao Doi
Director/Professor, Beihang University

・Kazunari Domen
Special Contract Professor, Center for Energy & Environmental Science, Shinshu University

・Tomohiro Nakayama
Director, JST/CRDS

・Hiroaki Harata
Managing Director, Nissan Global Foundation

・Ayumi Hirano-Iwata
Principal Investigator/Professor, Tohoku University

※Affiliations and titles are as of March 31, 2021.

Year Started : 2013

Creation of Functional Polymer Materials in Tailor-Made Nanospaces

Research Director:
Takashi Uemuraa(Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo)

Formation of super-ion conduction path in all-solid-state lithium ion rechargeable battery through design of the crystal phase-interface with hierarchically controlled structures

Research Director:
Katsuya Teshima(Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Science, Shinshu University)

Polar Polypropylene: Catalyst Development and Material Design

Research Director:
Kyoko Nozaki(Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)

Development of sophisticated inorganic separation materials based on advanced design of precise molecular sieving functions

Research Director:
Masahiko Matsukata(Professor, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University)

Year Started : 2014

New functions and inorganic materials based on anionic nanospaces

Research Director:
Hiroshi Kageyama(Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University)

Creative Development of Innovative Transport Materials Based on Self-Organized Liquid-Crystalline Polymers Forming Soft-Nanospace

Research Director:
Takashi Kato(Professor, School of Engineering , The Unviersity of Tokyo)

Designed conversion of lower hydrocarbons by controlled spartial catalysts

Research Director:
Yasushi Sekine(Professor, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University)

Creation of high performance display materials based on topological design of localization of motions confined in slippery nano interfaces

Research Director:
Jun Yamamoto(Professor, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University)

Year Started : 2015

Novel electronic devices based on nanospaces near interfaces

Research Director:
Taro Hitosugi(Professor, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Shape persistence Platonic micelles and its application to cellular targeting drug delivery

Research Director:
Masaki Mizuguchi(Professor, Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability, Nagoya University)

Shape persistence Platonic micelles and its application to cellular targeting drug delivery

Research Director:
Kazuo Sakurai(Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, The University of Kitakyushu)

Consecutive Polymer Modification System Utilizing Gently Restricted Reaction Space Directed toward Innovative Polymer Functionalization

Research Director:
Toshikazu Takata(Dean, Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Hiroshima University)

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