- Toughening mechanism of tough polymeric materials
- Structure of multi-component polymer and soft matter systems by small-angle neutron/X-ray scattering
- Dynamics of multi-component polymer and soft matter systems by quasi-elastic neutron scattering
The research goal of our group is to reveal molecular mechanisms for macroscopic properties of soft matter systems. One of our targets is to understand toughening mechanisms of polymeric materials. Recently, the fine control of nano-structure has improved significantly the mechanical toughness of polymer-based materials. The tough polymeric materials are expected to be applied for biomaterials, soft robots, and structural materials for automobiles and airplanes. We study nano-structure and dynamics of the tough polymeric materials by means of small-angle and quasi-elastic neutron scattering measurements with deuterium labelling. The deuterium labelling technique enables us to observe separately each component in multi-component systems. By combining the nano-scale structure/dynamics measurements, macroscopic mechanical tests, and molecular dynamics simulations, we aim to establish molecular understandings of toughening mechanisms for polymeric materials and discover novel molecular designs for tough materials.