Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science

Physicochemical Soft Matter Research Unit

Unit Leader: Fumito Araoka (Ph.D.)
Fumito  Araoka(Ph.D.)

“Physicochemical Soft-Matter Research Unit” is mainly working on functionality of soft-matter systems from the viewpoints of physical experiments and analyses. In our research unit, particular attention is paid to liquid crystals due to their self-organizability leading to multifarious structures in which many interesting physical phenomena emerge. Our interest also covers potential applications of such soft-matter systems towards optical/electronic or chemical devices. For example, 1. Ferroelectric interactions and switching mechanisms in novel liquid crystalline ferroelectric materials, 2. Chirality related phenomena - origin and control of emergence, as well as applications of superstructure chirality in self-organized soft-matter systems, 3. Novel optical/electronic devices based on self-organized soft-matter systems.

Main Research Field

Materials Sciences

Related Research Fields

Physics / Engineering / Chemistry

Research Subjects

  • Functional organic materials
  • Soft-matter physics
  • Optical properties of organic materials
  • Soft matter nonlinear optics
  • Soft matter ferroelectrics

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Okano, K., Aya,S., Araoka, F., Obara, H., Sato, S., Yamashita, T., Takezoe, H., and Asakura, K.:
    "Photoresponsive Stripe Domains in Achiral Azobenzene Liquid Crystals"
    Chem. Phys. Chem. 16, 95 (2015).
  2. Roche, C., Sun, H.J., Prendergast, M. E., Leowanawat, P., Partridge, B. E., Heiney, P. A., Araoka, F., Graf, R., Spiess, H. W., Zeng, X., Ungar, G., and Percec, V.:
    "Homochiral Columns Constructed by Chiral Self-Sorting During Supramolecular Helical Organization of Hat-Shaped Molecules"
    J. Am. Soc. Chem. 136, 7169(2014).
  3. Araoka, F., and Takezoe, H.:
    "Columnar liquid crystal as a unique ferroelectric liquid crystal"
    Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 53, 01AA01 (2014).
  4. * Araoka, F., Masuko, S., Kogure, A., Miyajima, D., Aida, T., and Takezoe, H.:
    "High-optical-quality ferroelectric film wet-processed from a ferroelectric columnar liquid crystal as observed with nonlinear-optical microscopy"
    Adv. Mater. 25, 4014 (2013).
  5. * Araoka, F., Sugiyama, G., Ishikawa, K., and Takezoe, H.:
    "Highly-ordered Helical Nanofilament Assembly Aligned by Nematic Director Field"
    Adv. Func. Mater. 23, 2701 (2013). (Selected as a Frontispiece of the Issue)
  6. * Ueda, T., Masuko, S., Araoka, F., Ishikawa, K., and Takezoe, H.:
    "A General Method for the Enantioselective Formation of Helical Nanofilaments"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 6863 (2013).
  7. * Lee, G., Carlton, R. J., Araoka, F., Abbott, N. L., and Takezoe, H.:
    "Amplification of the stereochemistry of biomolecular adsorbates by deracemization of chiral domains in bent-core liquid crystals"
    Adv. Mater. 25, 245 (2013).
  8. * Miyajima, D., Araoka, F., Takezoe, H., Kim, J., Kato, T., Takata, M., and Aida, T.:
    "Ferroelectric Columnar Liquid Crystal Featuring Confined Polar Groups Within Core-Shell Architecture"
    Science 336, 209 (2012).
  9. * Miyajima, D., Araoka, F., Takezoe, H., Kim, J., Kato, T., Takata, M., and Aida, T.:
    "Electric-Field-Responsive Handle for Large-Area Orientation of Discotic Liquid- Crystalline Molecules in Millimeter-Thick Films"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 7865 (2011).
  10. * Koo, W. H., Jeong, S. M., Araoka, F., Ishikawa, K., Nishimura, S., Toyooka, T., and Takezoe, H.:
    "Light extraction from organic light emitting diodes enhanced by spontaneously formed buckles"
    Nat. Photonics 4, 222 (2010).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Fumito Araoka
Unit Leader

Core Members

Satoshi Aya
Postdoctoral Researcher
Jun Yoshioka
Postdoctoral Researcher
Khoa Van Le
Visiting Scientist

Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama
351-0198, Japan

Email: fumito.araoka [at]

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