ISSP - The institute for Solid State Physics

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Shibayama Group
Professor
SHIBAYAMA,
Mitsuhiro

Research Associate
LI,
Xiang

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Soft matter undergoes various transitions in response to a slight change of an environmental variable. We investigate the relationship of the structure and dynamics of soft matter, such as polymer gels, nanoemulsion, and micelles. The aims of our research are systematization of “molecular-bond correlated systems”. Concurrently, we explore various applications of soft matter on the basis of the physics of soft matter. Nano-order structure investigations and studies on dynamics of soft matter are carried out with state-of-the-art equipments, SANS-U, a small-angle neutron scattering instrument (upgraded in 2010). Other techniques, such as dynamic/static light scattering, microscopy, mechanical/thermal analyses, and rheological studies, are also employed. Current interests cover (1) inhomogeneities in polymer gels, (2) structural characterization and studies on deformation mechanisms of high-performance polymer gels, (3) rheo-SANS of nanoemulsion and micelles, and (4) development of ion-gel and structural analyses, (5) fabrication of uniform-polymer networks and their structure/property characterization, (6) development of high-performance thermoset polymers by structure-designing and molecular dynamics simulations.

Synthesis scheme of four-arm polyethylene glycol (Tetra-PEG) ion gels. We developed pH-buffer which regulates the pH in ionic liquid system. By using it, we succeeded in fabrication of ideal polymer networks free from network defects.
Comparison of the mechanical properties of Tetra-PEG ion gel films prepared without (Neat aprotic IL) and with (pH-buffering IL) pH-buffering ionic liquid (IL). σ and λ denote the mechanical stress and elongation ratio, respectively.

Research Subjects

  1. Structure and physical properties of uniform polymer gels
  2. Development of ion gels and structural characterization
  3. Structure formation and rheological properties of multi-arm surfactant assemblies in aqueous solutions
  4. Structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulation of thermoset polymers