ISSP - The institute for Solid State Physics

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From the Director
Director IYE Yasuhiro

The Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP) was established in 1957 as a joint-use research institute attached to the University of Tokyo. Since then ISSP has been acting as a central organization of condensed matter science in Japan. In 2000, ISSP was relocated from the Roppongi campus in Tokyo to the Kashiwa campus in Chiba, which was designated as one of the three major branches of the University of Tokyo along with the ones in Hongo and Komaba. In 2004, the University of Tokyo became a national university corporation and in 2010, ISSP was approved to be a joint-use/joint-research institute in accordance with the new scheme set by the government.

Condensed matter science had started as a discipline, which enables us to understand a wide variety of properties of materials on the basis of the fundamental laws of motion of the constituent microscopic particles, i.e. electrons and nuclei. Based on such knowledge, the major current efforts are being devoted to synthesize new materials that may show unprecedented properties, or to fabricate structures with nanometer scale by depositing atomic layers to produce new functions, bridging boundaries between physics, chemistry, and materials science. What is fascinating about condensed matter science is that studies of novel collective phenomena exhibited by atoms and electrons in materials not only deepen our understanding of nature but also contribute to technological innovations important to the human society. Expecting that new materials, new theoretical ideas, and innovative experimental techniques will further widen the scope of condensed matter science, two new interdisciplinary research groups were launched last year, Functional Materials Research Group and Quantum Materials Research Group. While the former aims at microscopic understanding of the dynamic processes including electronic excitations and chemical reactions in complex materials with hierarchical structures, the goal of the latter is to discover new concepts and functions both in bulk materials and in nanostructures, that exhibit novel quantum phenomena.

In elucidating the properties of materials and their composite systems, extreme environments such as high magnetic fields and high pressure, as well as large facilities such as supercomputers and advanced measurement systems play important roles. We have been working hard to develop state-of-the-art technologies and facilities and to provide them for the joint-use/joint-research. The International MegaGauss Science Laboratory is developing precise measurement techniques both in 1000 tesla destructive short-pulse fields generated by the electromagnetic compression method and in 100 tesla non-destructive long-pulse fields produced by a flywheel dc-generator. The Neutron Science Laboratory constructed the High Resolution Chopper (HRC) spectrometer in J-PARC in collaboration with KEK and has been operating joint-use programs. However, the JRR-3 reactor has still been shut down after the earthquake in March 2011 and early re-operation is seriously desired. The Center for Computational Materials Science advances materials design and develops algorithm and software for the massively parallel “post K” supercomputer as the representative for the Flagship 2020 Project “Creation of New Function Devices and High Performance Materials for Supporting Industry of Next Generation“. In addition, we disseminate knowledge of advanced software to non-specialists so that a broader spectrum of researchers will access to our supercomputer resources. The Laser and Synchrotron Research Center has constructed state-of-the-art equipment at the soft X-ray beam line BL07 in SPring-8 located in Harima, providing a platform for international user program. This is collaborated with the activities in Kashiwa to develop high performance laser dedicated to advanced spectroscopy, opening new frontier in photon-matter science.

ISSP makes the 60th anniversary this year. We will continue to conduct cutting-edge research at the forefront of the condensed matter science, and thereby, provide an excellent collaborative center for both domestic and international researchers. We appreciate your continued support for our research activities.

April, 2017
Masashi Takigawa