From the Director

Yoshinori Tokura

The RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS) has been launched in RIKEN unifying the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, and electronics, and rallying top-notch leaders as well as up-and-coming young researchers.

In emergent matter science, we aim at realizing  emergent phenomena and functions by manipulating the dynamics of electrons, spins, and molecules in materials, and creating materials and devices for this purpose. Here the word “emergence” means that qualitatively new physical properties emerge in aggregates of many degrees of freedom, which cannot be expected in simple assemblies of individual elements. The three major-fields of CEMS are: (i) “Strong correlation physics”, exploring the astonishing functions of materials with many strongly-entangled electrons; (ii) Supramolecular/materials chemistry designing the superstructures of molecules for novel functions; and (iii) Quantum information electronics utilizing the quantum entangled states as state variables.

The mission of RIKEN centers is to solve challenging and difficult problems, which requires gathering the individual abilities of experts. The challenging goal of CEMS is to explore the energy functions of electrons in solids and molecules leading to the “third energy revolution”.

It is only about 120 years ago when humans acquired the infrastructure for accessing electric energy and its transport system. If the first and second energy revolutions are defined by the discoveries of burning energy from fuel and nuclear reactions, respectively, by transforming  the mechanical energy from steam engines to electric energy, the “third energy revolution” should be the construction of emergent electromagnetism utilizing the electron motions in solids and molecules, which is beginning now. Namely, innovative research based on electrons in solids and molecules are now going on at an accelerated pace, following the innovations of semiconductor electronics, solar cells, and high-temperature superconductivity.

CEMS aims at the discoveries of new principles/materials which bring about the discontinuous leap of the figure of merits, which can be attained only by fundamental research on materials science. The value of our research activities will be judged based on how much we transmit the new basic principles toward this goal.

Yoshinori Tokura

Director of Center for Emergent Matter Science