Emergent Soft Matter Function Research Group

Principal Investigator

PI Name Takuzo Aida
Degree D.Eng.
Title Group Director
Brief Resume
1984D.Eng., University of Tokyo
1984Research Assistant / Lecturer, University of Tokyo
1991Associate Professor, University of Tokyo
1996Professor, University of Tokyo (-present)
2000Project Leader, ERATO Aida Nanospace Project, Japan Science and Technology Corporation
2007Group Director, Responsive Matter Chemistry & Engineering Research Group, RIKEN
2010Group Director, Functional Soft Matter Research Group, RIKEN
2011Team Leader, Photoelectric Conversion Research Team, RIKEN
2013Deputy Director, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS) (-present)
2013Group Director, Emergent Soft Matter Function Research Group, Division Director, Supramolecular Chemistry Division, RIKEN CEMS (-present)


With world's focus on environment and energy issues, our group aims to establish a novel principle of material sciences addressing these problems, through the development of unprecedented functional materials with precisely controlled structure and properties at molecular to nanoscale levels. The main research subjects include (1) the development of novel organic catalysts consisting only of ubiquitous elements for high efficient water photolysis, (2) the development of the solution-processable organic ferroelectric materials for the application to memory devices, and (3) the development of precise supramolecular polymerizations.

Research Fields

Chemistry, Materials Sciences


Soft material
Molecular design
Energy conversion
Stimuli-responsive material
Electronic material
Photoelectric conversion material
Environmentally friendly material


Chain-growth supramolecular polymerization

Over the last decade, significant progress in supramolecular polymerization has had a substantial impact on the design of functional soft materials.   However, despite recent advances, most studies are still based on a preconceived notion that supramolecular polymerization follows a step-growth mechanism.  We recently realized the first chain-growth supramolecular polymerization by designing metastable monomers with a shape-promoted intramolecular hydrogen-bonding network.  The monomers are conformationally restricted from spontaneous polymerization at ambient temperatures but begin to polymerize with characteristics typical of a living mechanism upon mixing with tailored initiators.  The chain growth occurs stereoselectively and therefore enables optical resolution of a racemic monomer.  We believe that it may give rise to a paradigm shift in precision macromolecular engineering.

Schematic illustration of chain-growth supramolecular polymerization


Takuzo Aida

Group Director takuzo.aida[at]riken.jp R

Daigo Miyajima

Senior Research Scientist

Venkata Rao Kotagiri

Postdoctoral Researcher

Yukinaga Suzuki

Student Trainee

Toshiaki Takeuchi

Student Trainee

Haruya Suzuki

Student Trainee

Emiko Oikawa

Technical Staff II

Atsuko Nihonyanagi

Technical Staff II


  • Sep 22, 2017 RIKEN RESEARCH Useful new supramolecular polymer responds to heat and alcohol
    An intriguing new plastic that forms by either cooling or heating its components in alcohol promises numerous applications
  • Jan 22, 2016 RIKEN RESEARCH Microwave synthesis ‘zaps’ graphene to perfection
    A simple procedure turns bulk graphite crystals into atomically thin super materials and magnetically aligned gels
  • Dec 18, 2015 RIKEN RESEARCH Helical pores make perfect hosts
    A porous framework consisting of liquid crystals aids the study of intriguing optical phenomena
  • Dec 04, 2015 RIKEN RESEARCH Building better bilayers
    A strategy for generating stable lipid bilayers could simplify the study of biologically important membrane proteins
  • Jun 19, 2015 RIKEN RESEARCH A bundled attraction
    A magnetic field and a protein jacket are all that is needed to create bundles of one-dimensional arrays of ‘superparamagnetic’ nanoparticles
  • Apr 03, 2015 RIKEN RESEARCH One at a time, please
    Polymers held together by multiple weak intermolecular interactions but with tight control over the number of monomer units in each chain have been prepared for the first time


#106 Frontier Material Research Facilities, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan