Theme 01: Synthesis of Architectually Complex Copolymers via Precision Polymerization Techniques

Polymers having non-linear architectures such as star, macrocycle, multicycle, and cage-shape exhibit unique properties coming from their specific polymer architectures. We have been developing a precise and efficient strategy to achieve such "architectually complex polymers" and to reveal their detailed properties for the synthesis of novel functional material.

Ex:Synthesis of multicyclic polymers based on the consecutive cyclization

Click the following links to the articles
Article 1 (multicyclic polymers), Macromolecules(2018)
Article 2 (star-, 8-shaped polymer), Macromolecules(2013)
Article 3 (macrocyclic, 8-shaped, and tadpole-shaped polyemers), Macromolecules(2014)
Article 4 (star-shaped polymer), Macromolecules(2016)
Article 5 (brush polymer), Macromolecules(2014)
Article 6 (cage-shaped polyemers), Chem. Sci.(2019)
Article 7 (graft polymers with multicyclic side chains), Macromolecules(2021)

Theme 02: Development of Well-defined Nanostructures

Block copolymers consisting of two or more chemically distinct polymer segments spontaneously self-assemble to form microphase-separated structures in the bulk and thin film states. It is expected that microphase-separated block copolymers will be applied in nanotechnology such as lithography and so on. We precisely synthesize block copolymers and analyze their microphase separation behavior in order to fabricate the nanostructures depending on objectives. Furthermore, revealing the correlation between molecular architecture and self-assembled nanostructures is one of the most important challenges.

Ex:Block copolymers consisting of oligosaccaride and poly(caprolactone), which form a variety of self-assembled stractures depending on their macromolecular structures.

Click the following links to the articles
Article 1 (Control of self-assembly of block copolymers based on intramolecular cross-linking), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.(2021)
Article 2 (Self-assembly and mechanical property of bio-based block copolymers), Macromolecules(2020)
Article 3 (Synthesis of end-functionalized block copolymers), Macromolecules(2018)
Article 4 (Self-assembly of bio-based block copolymers), Biomacromolecules(2022)
Article 5 (Self-assembly of organic-inorganic hybrid block copolymers), Nanomaterials(2022)

Theme 03: Development of Precise Polymerization Based on Heavy Metal-Free Catalysts

Because of excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility, polyester and polyether materials are important in various fields. These polymers are synthesized via organometal-catalyzed ring-opening polymerization. However, this catalyst is averse to environment or our body. From this background, we have been exploring the new catalyst for ring-opening polymerization and developing new functional polyesters/ethers.

Ex:Precise ring-opening polymerization of cyclic monomers using phosphoric acid catalyst

Click the following links to the precision ring-opening polymerization with phosphoric acid catalyst
Article 1 (Polymerization of cyclic esters), Polym. Chem.(2015)
Article 2 (Polymerization of cyclic carbonates), Macromolecules(2013)

Click the following links to the precise ring-opening polymerization using alkali metal carboxylate catalyst
Article 3 (Polymerization of cyclic esters), Macromolecules(2018)
Article 4 (Self-switchable polymerization of cyclic monomers), J. Am. Chem. Soc.(2022)
Article 5 (Polymerization of cyclic ethers/cyclic thioethers), Macromolecules(2022)

Theme04: Development of New Conductive Colymers

Conductive π-conjugated polymers have some features that they are inexpensive and lightweight. So, the π-conjugated polymers are expected to be used as materials for OLED displays in personal computers and TV, as well as touch panels in bank ATMs and smartphones in recent years. Our laboratory aims to develop novel materials with excellent electrical properties by synthesizing π-conjugated polymers with well-controlled structures using a polymerization method based on the Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction.

Ex:Switchable devices using block copolymers consisting of conjugated polymers and soft polymers

Click the following links to the articles
Article 1 (Development of a flexible field effect transistor based on polythiophene and polyacrylate), Macromolecules(2017)
Article 2 (Development of polythiophene-based high performance memory devices), Adv. Funct. Mater.(2016)
Article 3 (Development of polyfluorene-based high performance memory devices), NPG Asia Materials(2016)

Theme 05: Development of Environmentally Benign Polymeric Materials

Plastic waste is a growing environmental problem. Therefore, we are developing environmentally benign polymers such as elastomers and modifiers consisting of sugars and polyesters. We have been studying in order to create novel environmentally benign materials that exhibit superior properties compared to conventional plastic materials using the knowledge obtained from Theme01 and Theme02.

Ex:Amylose-based elastomer

Click the following links to the articles
Article 1 (Development of amylose-based elastomers), Macromolecules(2020)
Article 2 (Development of cellulose acetate-based elastomers), ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.(2021)
Article 3 (Development of compatibilizers for improving physical properties of PHAs), ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.(2019)