The large variety of materials which are "useful and essential for the modern society" comprises compounds of organic, inorganic, and biological origin. The Research Center for Materials Science, established in 1998, aims at creating new and improved molecular materials, exploring their structural and functional properties as well as reaction mechanisms.
Molecules are composed of a limited number of atoms, but diverse molecular functions are obtained by precisely controlling the compositon and bonding of the atoms and their spatial arrangements. More than 10 million molecules are known so far, their sizes ranging from nanometers to millimeters and amounts produced ranging from picograms for some compounds isolated from brain to several billion tons per year for carbon dioxide. The design and creation of new functional materials at will, should preferably be based on detailed information about the properties of various molecules. It is therefore of prime importance to investigate in detail the physicochemical properties of molecules and their assemblies and thus to elucidate the mechanisms of chemical phenomena at the molecular level and to develop effective methods of conversion of materials to new and useful ones. On the other hand, advanced materials science is expected to develop the pertinent chemistry, which learns from and is compatible with nature, through the search for physiologically active natural substances and studies of the reaction mechanisms of life.
Accordingly, all members of the Research Center devote their energy to research on organic syntheses, inorganic syntheses, functional materials, biomaterials and molecular catalysis. The resulting achievements are the basis for the creation of novel functional materials surpassing existing ones, which will be essential for the development of new technology and a key to the successful international contribution of Japan as a nation of science and technology.
The Research Center will carry out creative studies on materials and their functions through international and interdisciplinary collaborations: it will share it’s original research activities with a wide international scientific community.