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 Science


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

Nobuhiko Mitoma

Research Scientist

Hubiao Huang

Research Scientist

Abir Goswami

Postdoctoral Researcher

Zebin Su

Postdoctoral Researcher

Yingluo Zhao

Student Trainee

Yang Hong

Junior Research Associate

Gangfeng Chen

Junior Research Associate

Niannian Wu

Student Trainee

Yiren Cheng

Junior Research Associate


  1. K. Yano, Y. Itoh, F. Araoka, G. Watanabe, T. Hikima, and T. Aida

    Nematic-to-columnar mesophase transition by in situ supramolecular polymerization

    Science 363, 161 (2019)
  2. Y. Yanagisawa, Y. Nan, K. Okuro, and T. Aida

    Mechanically robust readily repairable polymers via tailored noncovalent cross-linking

    Science 359, 72 (2018)
  3. H. Arazoe, D. Miyajima, K. Akaike, F. Araoka, E. Sato, T. Hikima, M. Kawamoto, and T. Aida

    An autonomous actuator driven by fluctuations in ambient humidity

    Nat. Mater. 15, 1084 (2016)
  4. J. Kang, D. Miyajima, T. Mori, Y. Inoue, Y. Itoh, and T. Aida

    A rational strategy for the realization of chain-growth supramolecular polymerization

    Science 347, 646 (2015)
  5. M. Liu, Y. Ishida, Y. Ebina, T. Sasaki, T. Hikima, M. Takata, and T. Aida

    An anisotropic hydrogel with electrostatic repulsion between cofacially aligned nanosheets

    Nature 517, 68 (2015)



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