Pursuing visualization and evaluation techniques for atomic- and molecular-scale structures
- Group Leader
- Assoc. Professor Hitoshi Asakawa
- Fields of Specialty
- thin film / surface and interface property, nanomaterial chemistry, nano bioscience, physical chemistry
- atomic force microscope, local structure / physical property measurement, functional material, nanotechnology, surface chemistry, chemical sensor
The nature of matter is determined by its nanoscale structure; that is, its atomic/molecular assembly and arrangement. Complex phenomena can also be understood through atomic/molecular interactions. For these reasons, nanometrology which is capable of visualizing nanoscale structures is indispensable in clarifying various materials’ physical properties and the origins of functions.
Kanazawa University is a world leader in AFM technology, for example creating the world’s first AFM that allows for atomic-resolution observation in liquid. AFM is not limited to observation of structures; it is now actively used in physical properties measurement and characteristics evaluation, making it an indispensable foundation technology for the research and development of all nanomaterials.
In recent years, research into the development of materials expressing new functions has been vigorously carried out through the design and control of nanospaces and nanogaps within materials. Understanding at the molecular scale what type of interactions guest molecules undergo as they approach and are absorbed into these spaces and gaps is of major importance.
Our group is developing a 3D scanning atomic force microscope (3D-AFM) to directly measure the force of interactions between guest molecules and nanospaces/nanogaps. Based on the research activity of nanometrology, we aim to contribute to the development of new materials for adsorption/storage of useful energy chemicals and separation of environment pollutants.
New materials created at the Nanomaterials Research Institute are studied through the eyes of nanometrology, leading to the development of sophisticated materials.