Division of Nanocarbon Research
|Director||Takahiro Yamamoto : Professor, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science Division I|
|Research Content||Research and development on carbon nanotubes and graphene.|
|Objetcitves||To investigate novel properties relating to carbon nanotubes and graphene, and to develop material sciences utilizing the nanospace of nanotubes and the interaction between nanotubes and various molecules. |
Division of Nanocarbon Research,The Research Highlight, 2018
Carbon nanotubes and graphene are low dimensional materials (with linear and flat shapes, respectively) composed of networks of 6-members rings (honeycomb structure). Owing to strong covalent bonds of carbon atoms, they have excellent mechanical strength and chemical stability enough to sustain the monolayered structure in a free space. Furthermore, they exhibit properties peculiar to the geometrical configuration and low dimensionality, which cannot be expected for three-dimensional crystals. As you can see from the fact that the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 relates to graphene, nanocarbons such as carbon nanotubes and graphene are extensively studied in basic science. In the future, nanocarbons are expected to play a main role in an industrial revolution as iron and silicon did in the Industrial Revolution and the information technology revolution, respectively.
The Division of Nanocarbon Research covers topics of nanocarbons from fundamental to applied researches by collaboration of experts in theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics, electrical engineering, thermal engineering, and biophysics. We expect synergy effects by enhancing mutual discussion and exchange of ideas in the division.
Materials Sciences in Nanospace
- We use an individual single-walled carbon nanotube as a well-defined nanospace, and study the interactions between nanotubes and molecules such as water and alcohol by optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. Thereby, we elucidate the structure and phase of the molecules in the nanospace. We also study the interaction between nanotubes and polymers, aiming at application of polymer-nanotube composites.
- We regard systems composed of nanotubes with adsobates or defects as extended composites, and study the basic properties by first-principles electronic state calculations and model calculations.
- We study structural properties of composites composed of nanotubes and biomolecules (DNA, protein). Specifically, we fabricate biodevices with nanotubes functionalized by DNA, and examine whether the structural properties of the biomolecules are retained, and whether the molecular recognition function is retained.
- We theoretically investigate the host-guest interactions of the nanotube/ biomolecule composites, and clarify the effect on the properties of the composites.
Growth Control of Nanocarbons
- We develop techniques for precise structural control of nanocarbons based on the various nanotube synthesis techniques such as vertically-aligned growth on silicon and silica substrates and horizontally-aligned growth on quartz substarte.
- We study novel synthesis methods of nanocarbons utilizing arc discharge by changing the discharge ambience, electrode materials, etc. We also study novel methods for graphene synthesis.
Properties and Functions
- We develop the physics of energy conversion based on nanocarbons and its application.
- We establish the basic science for nanocarbon-based paper electronics.
Future Development Goals
To promote advanced researches on nanocarbons based on tight and highly active collaborations of division members.
Nanocarbon is an active research field with increasing publications. Our research division is unique in that advanced researchers of nanocarbons are getting together and perform researches with wide scopes. In particular, tight collaborations between theorists and experimentalists are our strength. We are aiming at creating new fields and technologies based on our researches.