Emergent Soft System Research Team

Principal Investigator

PI Name Takao Someya
Degree Ph.D.
Title Team Leader
Brief Resume
1997Ph.D., Electronic Engineering, University of Tokyo
1997Research Associate, University of Tokyo
1998Lecturer, University of Tokyo
2001JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad (Columbia University)
2002Associate Professor, University of Tokyo
2009Professor, University of Tokyo (-present)
2011Project Leader, NEDO project on printed electronics (-present)
2011Research Director, JST/ERATO Project (-present)
2015Chief Scientist, Thin-film deice lab, RIKEN (-present)
2015Team Leader, Emergent Soft System Research Team, Supramolecular Chemistry Division, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (-present)


Electronics is expected to support the foundation of highly develop ICT such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics. In addition to improve the computing speed and storage capacity, it is required to minimize negative impact of machines on environment and simultaneously to realize the harmony between human and machines. We make full use of the novel soft electronic materials such as novel organic semiconductors in order to fabricate emergent thin-film devices and, subsequently, to realize emergent soft systems that exhibit super-high efficiency and harmonization with humans. The new soft systems have excellent features such as lightweight and large area, which are complimentary to inorganic semiconductors, are expected to open up new eco-friendly applications.

Research Fields

Electronic Engineering, Materials Sciences


Organic electronics
Organic field-effect transistor
Organic light emitting devices
Organic solar cells
Organic sensors


Imperceptible electronics that are lighter than a feather

 Sensors and electronic circuits for healthcare and medical applications are generally fabricated using silicon and other rigid electronic materials. To minimize the discomfort of wearing rigid sensors, it is highly desirable to use soft electronic materials particularly for devices that come directly into contact with the skin. In this regard, electronics manufactured on thin polymeric films are very attractive: in general, a thinner substrate will provide better mechanical flexibility. However, directly manufacturing sensors or electronic circuits on ultrathin polymeric films with thicknesses of several micrometers or less is a difficult task if conventional semiconductor processes are used. We have manufactured the world’s thinnest and lightest soft organic transistor integrated circuits (ICs) on ultrathin polymeric films with a thickness of only 1.2 µm. This was possible because we developed a novel technique to form a high-quality 19-nm-thick insulating layer on the rough surface of the 1.2-µm-thick polymeric film. The organic transistor ICs exhibit extraordinary robustness in spite of being super-thin. Indeed, the electrical properties and mechanical performance of the transistor ICs were practically unchanged even when squeezed to a bending radius of 5 µm, dipped in physiological saline, or stretched to up to double their original size. Finally, these organic transistor ICs have been utilized to develop a flexible touch sensor system prototype.

(Left) E-skins with organic thin-film devices developed in 2003 were applied on a robotic hand.
(Right) Ultraflexible organic integrated circuits manufactured on a 1 μm-thick plastic film were applied on a human hand.


Takao Someya

Team Leader takao.someya[at]riken.jp R

Kenjiro Fukuda

Senior Research Scientist

Sungjun Park

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kilho Yu

Postdoctoral Researcher

Yi-Lin Wu

Junior Research Associate

Hiroki Kimura

Student Trainee


  • Dec 22, 2017 RIKEN RESEARCH Washable solar cells
    A new stretchy and washable organic solar cell has opened up the possibility of textile-integrated solar power
  • Sep 15, 2017 RIKEN RESEARCH Innovative electronics feels like a second skin
    Sensors made from stretchable nanomeshes allow patients’ skin to breathe naturally while continuously monitoring their health


Cooperation Center W405
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan