Shunichi Suwa

A wide range of research has been done in the field of materials science, including the discovery of many micro-scale phenomena, and the development of many applications for them. However, there are still plenty of spectacular discoveries waiting to be made in the micro-domain which, when scaled up to the macro level, could profoundly benefit humanity. One example of scaling up long-range order in aggregates of molecules is the liquid crystal. The long-range order properties of liquid crystals, applied at the macro scale with molecular alignment methods, are used in display technologies in the form of LCDs. LCDs have given us the flat screen TV, smartphone, notebook PC and many other widely used devices. Liquid crystals are often considered synonymous with LCDs, but in fact “liquid crystal” simply refers to the physical state of a material, and display technology is only one application of liquid crystals. Self-organization of aggregates of molecules that exhibit particular functions are often found in nature. For example, biomembranes are a type of liquid crystal composed of phospholipids. My research aim is to study examples of such materials in the natural world in order to develop new and useful artificial materials.

Molecular Orientation / Self-organization / Soft Matter / Liquid Crystal / Wave Optics