Takuzo Aida Professor
Takayuki Miki Project Lecturer
Nobuhiko Mitoma Project Assistant Professor
Hubiao Huang Project Assistant Professor
“Extraordinary function by extraordinary molecular design; this is how we can change the world.” We are all trying to discover solutions to important societal concerns, such as energy storage, as well as medical and environmental problems by utilizing state of the art “Supramolecular Science” and “Material Science”.
Supramolecular Polymers and Their Application to Functional Soft Materials :
Waste plastic has brought a heavy burden to the earth. It is an urgent task to solve the problem and stop the trend of global warming. The Aida lab pioneered supramolecular polymers in which monomers are linked by dynamic and reversible bonds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supramolecular_polymer). Major recent achievements include (1) mechanically strong but self-healing polymer glasses at room temperature, (2) supramolecular polymer materials with the highest mechanical strength ever in organic materials that can be completely reduced to monomers, and (3) fluorinated nanochannels capable of ultra-fast desalination of seawater.
“Aquamaterial” for Low-Carbon Sustainable Society :
We have designed a “molecular glue” that could bind inorganic nanosheets to form a 3D network. We were then able to use this “glue” to engineer “water” to create “Aquamaterial” with mechanical properties comparable to plastics or rubber. We aim to further develop this research toward new environmentally friendly functional materials.
Nanoremedy by Molecular Glue/Biomolecular Machine :
Using “molecular glue”, which strongly adheres to proteins, nucleic acids, and biomembranes, and “molecular machines” such as chaperones, we are developing intelligent drug carriers that can response to endogenous substances related to diseases and release drugs in a space-time specific manner. We have also developed “de novo peptides” that integrate proteins, and are applying them to cell engineering.
Energy Conversion by Soft Nanocarbon :
We have developed new soft carbon-based nanomaterials such as “graphite nanotubes” and “nanocarbon (carbon nanotube, graphene)/ionic liquid hybrid soft materials”, for the construction of new energy conversion systems.
Molecular Transformation and Transport by Crystalline Nanoporous Materials :
We are developing new crystalline nanoporous materials for groundbreaking molecular transformations and transportation.