Institute of Innovative Research, 
Tokyo Institute of Technology.



3 IIR faculty members were adopted as FY2021 Grant Recipients of ASUNARO Grant

3 IIR faculty members were adopted as FY2021 Grant Recipients of ASUNARO Grant.

The Fund is designed to provide financial support to researchers engaged in fundamental science and engineering research, including steady research in mature engineering fields, engineering research that explores new possibilities based on a long-term perspective without being influenced by trends, and original engineering research for which it is difficult to acquire funding.

Asst. Prof. Tetsuya YAMADA Research Outline

Ionic conductors, solid with ion conductivity, are essential materials used in various applications such as batteries and chemical sensors. Higher ion conductivities are reported when the size of ionic conductors is small at the nanometer level (Nanoionics phenomenon). The spatial conditions and mechanism of the fast ion conduction shown in the nanoscale remain unexplained.
In this study, we applied single-crystal nanosheets of zirconia (ZrO2), which is an oxygen ion conductor, to clarify the mechanism of fast ion conduction. The advantages of using nanosheets with a two-dimensional structure are that nanosheets are easily deposited on a substrate, and their conductivity is measure by nanoprobes. In addition, the relationship between nano-space and ionic conduction can be explored by changing the size of the nanosheets.

Asst. Prof. Wan-Ting CHIU Research Outline

Shape deformation and internal degree of freedom of the ferromagnetic shape memory alloy (FSMA) are manipulatable via magnetic field. Hence, FSMA is considered as a potential material for the high–speed actuators in robots and magnetic cooling applications. NiMnGa alloy is a promising FSMA; however, its high brittleness impedes the practicability. Therefore, in this study, the separators (i.e. S or Bi) were introduced into the polycrystalline NiMnGa alloy intentionally to separate the grains and make the alloy even brittle. The polycrystalline NiMnGa is thereafter mechanically crushed into single crystal powders at elevated temperature. The conventional difficulties such as high defect concentration and complicated procedures for single crystal preparation could be solved by the facile mechanical crushing. The NiMnGa single crystal powders are then utilized for the fabrications of the composites for realizing the high–speed actuators for robots and magnetic cooling applications.

Asst. Prof. Ryosuke TAKEHARA Research Outline

Recently, the physical properties associating with topology have been enthusiastically studied in the field of condensed matter physics, the concept of which was first introduced as a vortex forming in two-dimensional (2D) systems. Although the vortices have been discovered in superconducting and superfluid thin films, an electrical vortex structure consisting of electric dipole moments has never been found so far. This is because that it has been difficult to create a material that would realize such a structure. Recently, however, a molecular rotor in which the electric dipole moment upon a scaffold tripodal molecule rotates has been developed. The tripodal molecules are arranged in a nested 2D arrangement to form a 2D molecular rotor system, which is exactly the same structure where the vortex was first introduced. In this study, I’ll make an attempt on a first observation of the 2D electrical vortex structure expected to emerge in the molecular rotor assembly. Additionally, since the vortex is an electrical one, direct control of the vortex by an electric field is also expected, and these realizations will provide new insights into the field of topology.

  • Recipients : Asst. Prof. Ryosuke TAKEHARA
  • Research topic: Topological structures generated by a molecular rotor assembly and their responses to external fields