Dr. Yoshinori Tokura and Dr. Takuzo Aida have won the 52nd Fujihara Award, Dr. Tokura for his innovative work on gigantic electromagnetic responses in solids and Dr. Aida for the development of innovative polymers by elaborate design of "structural dimensionality and hierarchy".
This prize is awarded to two Japanese scientists who have made distinguished contributions to the development of science and technology. The award ceremony was held on June 17 in Tokyo.
Comment from Dr. Yoshinori Tokura
I am very much honored to be chosen for the Fujihara Award, and on this occasion would like to thank all my colleagues and collaborators who have worked with me and have supported the research. A large number of electrons mutually strongly interacting in a solid can form electronic phases such as electron crystals, liquids, and liquid-crystals. In the vicinity of the conversion between the competing phases, gigantic electromagnetic responses emerge, which can be viewed as functionalities that can be applied to electronics and may be used to solve energy problems in the future. Encouraged by the recognition accorded by the present prize, I will continue to develop this new frontier of science with increased enthusiasm.
Comment from Dr. Takuzo Aida
It is indeed my great honor and pleasure to receive the Fujihara Award, which historically has been bestowed on highly renowned scientists. It is my understanding that this award was given to me in recognition of the scientific impact of a series of studies on the development of functional soft materials based on polymers that I have been working on since I started my independent research career. Body tissues capable of performing complex motions, such as muscles for example, are not uniform but contain certain structural elements such as dimensionality and hierarchy that have to be studied on a molecular level, ranging from a nanoscale to a macroscopic length scale. Developing such materials synthetically may thus be referred to as "design of heterogeneity", which requires escaping from the conventional concept based on the principle of thermodynamic equilibrium and making use of non-equilibrated, kinetic interactions of macromolecules. I would also like to emphasize the enthusiasm of my colleagues who have made several serendipitous discoveries possible during our challenging scientific endeavor. I very much appreciate my colleagues and friends, and would also like to express my sincere thanks to RIKEN for generously providing me with a wonderful research environment.
Awards ceremony (June 17, 2011)