Faculty of Textile Science and Technology Research Activity2016|Shinshu Univ

37Functional Polymer ScienceExploring applications of discotic liquid crystalline organic semiconductors in solar cellsDepartment of Chemistry and MaterialsRecently, liquid crystals are being used in flat-panel televisions, a product that is very familiar to most consumers. Liquid crystals (LCs) normally have a rod-like molecular shape, so that they are known as rod-like LCs. However, some LCs are not only rod-like, but also disk-like, and these are known as discotic LCs. Although discotic LCs are not used in ordinary applications, they are expected to find application in other fields (for example, solar cells) that differ entirely from those of rod-like LCs. Consequently, discotic LCs are considered to have enormous future potential. In my lab, we study novel discotic LC semiconductors that are suitable for use in organic solar cells.Today’s solar cells use silicon, which is rigid and heavy. By contrast, if they could be replaced by organic thin lm solar cells, they would become exible and light. Were discotic LCs utilized in solar cells, their cost could be greatly reduced in mass production. Such solar cells would become a much more familiar product in the future.Outlook for researchIn my lab, students acquire extensive knowledge of both organic synthesis and the physical properties of functional materials. After their completion of a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral course, they will be able to work in both the chemical materials and electronic materials industries.Outlook for students after graduationKazuchika OhtaProfessorA student observes the texture of her synthesized discotic liquid crystalline semiconductor with a temperature-variable hot stage and a polarizing microscope.Photomicrographs of discotic liquid crystals. We enjoy working with their beautiful textures.After obtaining his Ph.D from Osaka University in March 1981, Professor Ohta worked for Toshiba Corporation from April 1981 to December 1982. He has been at Shinshu University’s Ueda Campus since December 1982 and currently serves as a professor. His research interests include supramolecular chemistry, physical chemistry of liquid crystals, organic materials for electronics, organic transition metal complexes, and microwave chemistry.Functional Polymer ScienceExploring the future of biochemical researchDepartment of Chemistry and MaterialsI am carrying out bioscience and biochemical research into fibers made by organisms that live in water. My research primarily covers the phyla Mollusca and Arthropoda. Bivalve clams that live in the ocean create a type of fiber called byssus.Kousaku OhkawaAfter graduating from the Functional Polymer Science Course at the Faculty of Textile Science and Technology (FTST) and completing the rst semester of a doctoral program at the Graduate School of Engineering, Professor Ohkawa participated in a graduate course oered by the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Biological Science. He subsequently returned to the Institute of High Polymer Research (IHPR) run by the FTST at Shinshu University in 1996 as an assistant professor and later submitted his doctoral thesis to the University of Tokyo (Doctorate of Science, 1998). He was promoted to associate professor at the IHPR in 2003. His has served as a professor in the Division of Biological and Medical Fibers at the Institute for Fiber Engineering (IFES) at Shinshu University since 2014.Living organisms leverage their acquired knowledge to create exceptional bers in the water. There is a great deal that researchers can learn from ber materials created by living organisms. This knowledge will lead to the ber material engineering of the future.Outlook for researchGraduates are employed as R&D engineers by manufacturers involved in the following businesses: spinning; ber production; non-woven material production; food ingredient production; sports product production; plastic processing; processing, manufacture, and sale of natural polysaccharides; and chemical product manufacturing.Outlook for students after graduationByssus bers are generated by the adhesive disk at the end (left: the sticky part), the distal section (center: a hard, strong ber), and the proximal section (right: a tough, strong ber).The Asian green mussel creates this strange byssus ber underwater.Professor


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