TSUKUBA, Japan, July 26, 2021 /Kyodo JBN/ --
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
WPI-MANA established several special research programs in 2016 in the belief that “science can make strong advances through the integration of research.”
Four of the key researchers in these programs -- Dr. Waka Nakanishi and Dr. Ayako Nakata in the Theory-Experiment Pairing Program, and Dr. Toshikaze Kariyado and Dr. Takuya Iwasaki in the Challenging Research Program -- sat down with MANA e-Bulletin to discuss their work and their experience with these programs.
Q: Let’s start with a description of your research.
Nakanishi: In organic chemistry, we create organic molecules in the desired form by connecting carbon atoms. Since their structure is directly related to their functions, I focus on realizing functions by designing molecules.
Nakata: I do theoretical research using first-principles calculations. Ideally, we can know the electronic state of a material from calculations. However, it’s difficult to simulate systems with many atoms, because it requires vast computational resources. Therefore, we developed a program called CONQUEST to determine the state of systems and molecules containing many atoms. We are now applying it to various real-life material systems.
Kariyado: My research is on clarifying the properties of materials using theory. There are many meanings to the term “properties of materials,” but I focus on how to control the electronic state in matter.
Iwasaki: I am interested in electron transport, which is the source of electric current, and my research aims to clarify the properties of materials. I am particularly interested in two-dimensional materials, mainly graphene. Ideally, graphene is flat, but if the substrate is uneven, it loses its exceptional properties. To solve this problem, we are developing a technique to superimpose graphene on a very flat 2D material.
Q: How did you start your collaboration?
Nakanishi: In organic chemistry, we often look at the function of a molecule as an “overall average” under easy-to-measure conditions. Experiments that look at the shape and function of single molecules are still in their infancy…
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MANA E-BULLETIN / FEATURE