Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science

Physicochemical Soft Matter Research Team

Team 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

Mathematical and physical sciences

Related Research Fields

Interdisciplinary science and engineering


  • Soft Matter Science
  • Polymers, Liquid Crystals, Colloids
  • Material Functions
  • Optical Properties
  • Electronic Properties

Selected Publications

  1. Nadasi, H., Stannarius, R., Eremin, A., Ito, A., Ishikawa, K., Haba, O., Yonetake, K., Takezoe, H., Araoka, F.:
    "Photomanipulation of the anchoring strength using a spontaneously adsorbed layer of azo dendrimers"
    Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 19, 7597 (2017).
  2. Araoka, F., Isoda, M., Miyajima, D., Seo, I., Oh-e, M., Aida, T., Takezoe, H.:
    "Polar Dynamics at a Functional Group Level: Infrared-Visible Sum-Frequency Generation Study on Polar Columnar Liquid Crystals"
    Adv. Erectron. Mater. 3, 1600503 (2017).
  3. Aya, S., Sasaki, Y., Takezoe, H., Ishikawa, K., Ema, K., Hikima, T., Takata, M., Araoka, F.:
    "Thermodynamically Anchoring-Frustrated Surface to Trigger Bulk Discontinuous Orientational Transition"
    Langmuir 32, 10545 (2017).
  4. Jo, J. Y., Jeon, S. W., Kim, B. C., Bae, J. H., Araoka, F., Choi, S. W.:
    "Polymer Stabilization of Liquid-Crystal Blue Phase II toward Photonic Crystals"
    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 9, 8941 (2017).
  5. Aya, S., Araoka, F.:
    "Orientational Transition in a Liquid Crystal Triggered by the Thermodynamic Growth of Interfacial Wetting Sheets"
    J. Vis. Exp. 123, e55729 (2017).
  6. Sasaki, Y., Jampani, V. S. R., Tanaka, C., Sakurai, N., Sekine, S., Le, K. V., Araoka, F.*, Orihara, H.* (*Equal Correspondence):
    "Large-scale self-organization of reconfigurable topological defect networks in nematic liquid crystals"
    Nat. Comm. 7, 13238 (2016).
  7. Le, K. V., Hafuri, M., Ocak, H., Bilgin-Eran, B., Tschierske, C., Sasaki, T., Araoka, F.:
    "Electro-Optic Kerr Response in a Self-Stabilized Amorphous Blue Phase with Nanoscale Smectic Clusters"
    ChemPhysChem 17, 1425 (2016).
  8. Humar, M., Araoka, F., Takezoe, H., Musevic, I.:
    "Lasing properties of polymerized chiral nematic Bragg onion microlasers"
    Opt. Express 24, 19237 (2016).
  9. Arazoe, H., Miyajima, D., Akaike, K., Araoka, F., Sato, E., Hikima, T., Kawamoto, M., Aida, T.:
    "An autonomous actuator driven by fluctuations in ambient humidity"
    Nat. Mater. 15, 1084 (2016).
  10. Roche, C., Sun, H. J., Leowanawat, P., Araoka, F., Partridge, B. E., Peterca, M., Wilson, D. A., Prendergast, M. E., Heiney, P. A., Graf, R., Spiess, H. W., Zeng, X. B., Ungar, G., Percec, V.:
    "A supramolecular helix that disregards chirality"
    Nat. Chem. 8, 80 (2016).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Fumito Araoka
Team Leader

Core Members

Haruna Sasaki
Postdoctoral Researcher
Hiroya Nishikawa
Postdoctoral Researcher
Satoshi Aya
Special Postdoctoral Researcher