Meeting Young Researchers



Research Area:
polymer science, supramolecular chemistry
polyrotaxane, cyclodextrin, inclusion complex, slide-ring materials
3-15-1 Tokida, Ueda-shi, Nagano-ken
Japan 386-8567
E-mail: jun[at-mark]

Employment Experience:
Jan. 2000-Mar. 2002:
JSPS research fellowship (DC2 and PD)
at the Structural Biopolymer Laboratory, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, The University of Tokyo

Apr. 2002-Mar. 2005:
Post-doctoral researcher, The University of Tokyo
at Ito Kohzo Laboratory (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo)

Apr. 2005-Oct. 2007:
Post-doctoral researcher, JST-CREST
at Ito Kohzo Laboratory (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo)

Dec. 2005-Oct. 2007:
Technical Adviser, Advanced Softmaterials, Inc., Tokyo (Concurrent with the above JST-CREST postdoc position).

Nov. 2007-present:
Tenure track assistant professor, Young researchers’ empowerment project, Shinshu university

The University of Tokyo, Japan B. A. (Agriculture)
Major: Wood and Cellulose Sciences

Graduated School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan
Master (Agriculture)
Major: Structural Biopolymer, Cellulose Sciences

Graduated School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan
Doctor (Agriculture)
Major: Structural Biopolymer, Cellulose Sciences

May 2007,
4th Asian Cyclodextrin Conference 2007, The Nagai Poster Prize, The Grand Prize (Doshisha University, Kyoto)

Selected Publications
1. Original articles:
  1. Uddin, A. J.; Araki, J.; Gotoh, Y. Extremely Oriented Tunicin Whiskers in Polyvinyl Alcohol Nanocomposites. Polym. International, in press.
  2. Uddin, A. J.; Araki, J.; Gotoh, Y. Characterization of the Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Cellulose Whisker Gel Spun Fibers. Composites Part A 2011, 42, 741-747.
  3. Araki, J. Polyrotaxane Derivatives. II. Preparation and Characterization of Ionic Polyrotaxanes and Ionic Slide-ring Gels. J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2011, 49, 2199-2209.
  4. Uddin, A. J.; Araki, J.; Gotoh, Y. Towards “Strong” Green Nanocomposites: Polyvinyl Alcohol Reinforced with Extremely Oriented Cellulose Whiskers. Biomacromolecules, 2011, 12, 617-624.
  5. Araki, J. Effect of Preparation Conditions for Poly(ethylene glycol)/Cyclodextrin (PEG/CD) Polyrotaxane on Modes of End-capping Reactions and Decomposition of the Yielded Polyrotaxane. J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2010, 48, 5258-5264. (Erratum. J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2011, 49, 1298)
  6. Araki, J.; Kagaya, K.; Ohkawa, K. Synthesis and Characterization of Polyrotaxane-Amino Acid Conjugates; A New Synthetic Pathway for Amino-Functionalized Polyrotaxanes. Biomacromolecules 2009, 10, 1947-1954.
  7. Samitsu, S.; Araki, J.; Shimomura, T.; Ito, K. Synthesis of a Molecular Tube in Dimethylsulfoxide and Its Inclusion Complexation Behavior with Poly (ethylene oxide-ran-propylene oxide). Macromolecules, 2008, 41, 5385-5392.
  8. Araki, J.; Kataoka, T.; Ito, K. Preparation of a “Sliding Graft Copolymer,” an Organic Solvent-Soluble Polyrotaxane Containing Mobile Side Chains, and Its Application for a Crosslinked Elastomeric Supramolecular Film. Soft Matter, 2008, 4, 245-249 (Selected as one of the ten “Polymer Content at RSC Publishing”).
  9. Araki, J.; Ito, K. Strongly Thixotropic Viscosity Behavior of Dimethylsulfoxide Solution of Polyrotaxane Comprising α-cyclodextrin and Low Molecular Weight Poly(ethylene glycol). Polymer, 2007, 48, 7139-7144.
  10. Kidowaki, M.; Nakajima, T.; Araki, J.; Inomata, A.; Ishibashi, H.; Ito, K. Novel Liquid Crystalline Polymer with Movable Mesogenic Side Chains on Macrocycles of Polyrotaxane. Macromolecules 2007, 40, 6859-6862.
  11. Araki, J.; Kataoka, T.; Ito, K. New Solvent for Polyrotaxane. III. Dissolution in Calcium Thiocyanate Aqueous Solution or N-Methylmorpholine-N-Oxide (NMMO) Monohydrate and the Spontaneous Gelation of the Former Solution. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2007, 105, 2265-2270.
  12. Kataoka, T.; Nagao, Y.; Kidowaki, M.; Araki, J.; Ito, K. Internal Structures of Novel Blend Gels Consisting of Polyrotaxane and Poly(vinyl alcohol) Induced by Liquid-Liquid Equilibria. Colloids Surfaces B, 2007, 56, 270-276.
  13. Araki, J.; Kataoka, T.; Katsuyama, N.; Teramoto, A.; Ito, K.; Abe, K. A Preliminary Study for Fiber Spinning of Mixed Solutions of Polyrotaxane and Cellulose in Dimethylacetamide/Lithium Chloride (DMAc/LiCl) Solvent System. Polymer 2006, 47, 8241-8246.
  14. Araki, J.; Ito, K. Polyrotaxane Derivatives. I. Preparations of Modified Polyrotaxane with Nonionic Functional Groups and Their Solubility in Organic Solvents. J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2006, 44, 6312-6323.
  15. Samitsu, S. Araki, J.; Kataoka, T.; Ito, K. New Solvent for Polyrotaxane. II. Dissolution Behavior of Polyrotaxane in Ionic Liquids and Preparation of Ionic Liquid-containing Slide-ring Gels. J. Polym. Sci. B Polym. Phys. 2006, 44, 1985-1994.
  16. Araki, J.; Ito, K. New Solvent for Polyrotaxane: Part I. Dimethylacetamide/Lithium Chloride (DMAc/LiCl) system for Modification of Polyrotaxane. J. Polym. Sci. A Polym. Chem. 2006, 44, 532-538.
  17. Araki, J.; Zhao, C.-M.; Ito, K. Efficient Production of Polyrotaxanes from α-Cyclodextrin and Poly(ethylene glycol). Macromolecules 2005, 38, 7524-7527.

2. Reviews
  • Araki, J. Exploration for Good Solvent Systems of PEG/CD Polyrotaxane for Preparation of Functional Supramolecular Materials. Sen-I Gakkaishi 2009, 65, P287–P292. (in Japanese)
  • Araki, J.; Ito, K. Recent Advances in the Preparation of Cyclodextrin-Based Polyrotaxanes and Their Applications to Soft Materials. Soft Matter 2007, 2, 1456 –1473. (Cover article)
  • Araki, J.; Ito, K. Synthesis and Characterizations of Polyrotaxane and Polyrotaxane Derivatives. J. Jpn. Soc. Colour Mater. 2006, 79, 290–295 (in Japanese).

Research Statement

A polyrotaxane, one of the most famous and investigated supramolecules, is constructed by numbers of ring molecules threaded by a linear “axis” molecule, which has bulky end groups preventing dissociation of the rings (Figure 1). One of the fascinating characteristics of the polyrotaxane is a high level of the degree of freedom, i.e. sliding and/or rotation, of the ring components. These surprising molecular motions, which never observed for the conventional covalence-based materials, are expected to exhibit novel properties of the materials. Various researches on application of the polyrotaxane as raw materials of soft matters, as well as on fundamental characterizations, are now undergoing.
“Slide-ring materials” are typical instances of the recent outcomes developed in the course of the above-mentioned research on the polyrotaxane. Mixing of polyrotaxane with other (polymeric) materials and subsequent cross-linking give freely mobile cross-linking points along the axis (Figure 2), and enable a production of novel functional materials with special properties, such as high levels of swellability as thousands and strong extensibility more than 20 times. In addition to the previous investigations on these mobile cross-linking points in solvents of gels, recent results on the slide-ring materials suggest the motion of the cross-linking points even in bulky solid materials such as fibers and films.

Figure 1. A schematic illustration of polyrotaxane.

Figure 2. Schematic illustrations of a slide-ring gel (left)
and a slide-ring material containing polyrotaxane (right).

The aims of our laboratory are preparation, characterizations and applications of various slide-ring materials containing polyrotaxanes as components, as highly functional materials. In our plans, a numbers of materials such as fibers, unwoven cloths or superabsorbents with supramolecular internal structures are prepared using polyrotaxanes together with other polymers. The novel properties of the obtained materials, especially those appeared only after addition of polyrotaxanes, are characterized.

My goal:

I strongly appreciate my employment as an advanced tenure track position in Shinshu University, while I also keenly realized a responsibility that my behavior and/or achievement might affect the future guideline of the tenure-track systems in Japan. According to the guidelines of the system in Shinshu University, i.e. "To provide young researchers with competitive research environment to promote their independence and active research opportunities through the introduction of tenure system to academic employment scheme", I affirm that I will demonstrate research results from Shinshu University internationally as a competitive researcher, always with my original intention, and free from the convention. I also aspire to firmly establish my laboratory, in which all students and staffs can obtain their own objectives and goals in their comfortable and fulfilled campus life.