[Sustainable Materials]Secure Bonding and Gentle Degradation for Sustainable Material Design

Strategic Objective

Precision control of bonding and decomposition for resource recycling

Research supervisor


Tadahisa Iwata(Professor, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo)


 This research area focuses on the effective use of resources and the construction of sustainable material production systems, and its goal is to establish research and develop original fundamental technologies for the creation of sustainable materials, which stably demonstrate excellent functions and performance in use, with the characteristics of secure bonding and gentle degradation. Gentle degradation refers to the rapid degradation of materials into intermediate or sub-components, or else degradation at atomic or molecular levels under mild conditions in order to cycle them into reusable materials after use.
 Specifically, we will conduct research and development of precise control technologies for bonding and degradation of polymeric, organic, biological, inorganic, and metallic materials, and their composites, with the goal of designing and developing high-performance sustainable materials. We will also investigate the materials with bonds that can control not only physical properties and structure but also degradability, and the catalysts that can selectively cleave chemical bonds, and material design to introduce the degradable segments into the materials. Our goals include developing technologies for controlling bond formation and cleavage of organic and inorganic compounds by external stimuli, creating technologies for controlling adhesion and desorption of different material interfaces, and developing technologies for controlling higher-order structures to establish degradation and recycling methods for composite materials, such as phase-separated and hierarchical structures.
 We also deal with the development of measurement and analysis techniques required in this field, such as visualization of nano-, meso-, and highly ordered structures in composite materials using such techniques as Ultra Small Angle X-ray Scattering, 3D Tomography, and Transmission Electron Microscopy. We develop predictions of bonding and degradation using theoretical chemistry and computer simulation. In addition, we focus on the integration of materials science and biology and promote research on the use of biocatalytic enzymes besides conventional catalysts to achieve bonding and degradation under mild conditions such as in water systems, at ambient temperature, and at ambient pressure. Through these efforts, we will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by establishing the methods to flexibly control secure bonding and gentle degradation for recycling.

Research Area Advisors

Hideki Abe Team Leader, Bioplastic Research Team, RIKEN
Takeharu Isaki Research Fellow, Polymers & Composite Materials Laboratory, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
Hiroshi Ito Professor, Graduate School of Organic Materials Science, Yamagata University
Kazue Ueda Technical Fellow, Plastics Division, UNITIKA LTD.
Eriko Sato Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka Metropolitan University
Hiroshi Jinnai Professor, Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University
Keiji Tanaka Distinguished Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
Chiharu Tokoro Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Kyoko Nozaki Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Yuichi Masubuchi Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University

Research Projects

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

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