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RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science Emergent Molecular Assembly Research Unit

Unit Leader: Hiroshi Sato (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Hiroshi Sato(Ph.D.)

The aim of this unit is to unleash the potential of molecules by controlling their assembly and arrangement patterns, and to create novel functions that are impossible to achieve with single molecules. Our specific research themes are as follows.

  • (1)Creation of materials by precise arrangement of topological bonds: By periodically arranging topological bonds such as catenanes, we will realize new materials.
  • (2)Sequence control in supramolecular polymerization: In supramolecular polymerization, it is still challenging to control the monomer sequence, so we are trying to control the sequence in coordination polymers.

Main Research Fields

  • Chemistry

Related Research Fields

  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Functional solid state chemistry
  • Organic and hybrid materials


  • Self-assembly
  • Crystal engineering
  • Porous materials
  • Surface/Interface

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. Sato, H., Matsui, T., Chen, Z., Pirillo, J., Hijikata, Y., and Aida, T.:
    "Photochemically Crushable and Regenerative Metal–Organic Framework"
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 142, 14069 (2020).
  • 2. *Lee, J.-S. M. and Sato, H.:
    "Photoswitching to the Core"
    Nature Chemistry 12, 584 (2020).
  • 3. Suginome, S., Sato, H., Hori, A., Mishima, A., Harada, Y., Kusaka, S., Matsuda, R., Pirillo, J., Hijikata, Y. and Aida, T.:
    "One-Step Synthesis of an Adaptive Nanographene MOF: Adsorbed Gas-Dependent Geometrical Diversity"
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 141, 15649 (2019).
  • 4. Au, V. K.-M., Nakayashiki, K., Huang, H., Suginome, S., Sato, H., and Aida, T.:
    "Stepwise Expansion of Layered Metal–Organic Frameworks for Nonstochastic Exfoliation into Porous Nanosheets"
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 141, 53 (2019).
  • 5. *Kusaka, S., Kiyose, A., Sato, H., Hijikata, Y., Hori, A., Ma, Y. and Matsuda, R.:
    "Dynamic Topochemical Reaction Tuned by Guest Molecules in the Nanospace of a Metal–Organic Framework"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 15742 (2019).
  • 6. Yamagishi, H., Sato, H., Hori, A., Matsuda, R., Kato, K. and Aida, T.:
    "Self-Assembly of Lattices with High Structural Complexity from a Geometrically Simple Molecule"
    Science 361, 1242 (2018).
  • 7. Huang, H., Sato, H. and Aida, T.:
    "Crystalline Nanochannels with Pendant Azobenzene Groups: Steric or Polar Effects on Gas Adsorption and Diffusion?"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 8784 (2017).
  • 8. *Zheng, Y., Sato, H., Wu, P., Jeon, H. J., Matsuda, R. and Kitagawa, S.:
    "Flexible Interlocked Porous Frameworks Allow Quantitative Photoisomerization in a Crystalline Solid"
    Nature Communications 8, 100 (2017).
  • 9. Sato, H., Kosaka, W., Matsuda, R., Hori, A., Hijikata, Y., Belosludov, R. V., Sakaki, S., Takata, M. and Kitagawa, S.:
    "Self-Accelerating CO Sorption in a Soft Nanoporous Crystal"
    Science 343, 167 (2014).
  • 10. Sato, H., Matsuda, R., Sugimoto, K., Takata, M. and Kitagawa, S.:
    "Photoactivation of a Nanoporous Crystal for On-demand Guest Trapping and Conversion"
    Nature Materials 9, 661 (2010).

Recent Research Results

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Hiroshi Sato
Unit Leader


Position Deadline
Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher or Researcher (W21133) Open until filled

Contact Information

Email: hiroshi.sato [at] riken.jp