Photomolecule Home


There has been a remarkable progress in the field of photochemistry during the last half of the 20th century. Such a significant progress can be attributed to the fusion of material science and quantum mechanics with other fields dealing with the study of chemical reactions that use light as energy source and driving force. Notable applications of photochemistry include solar cell for energy conversion, photocatalysis, photoresist materials, and photosensing technology. All of these inventions have allowed to the technological advancement of biosensors and bio-imaging technique that are expected to influence science and technology of the 21st century in association with the University of Hokkaido.

Hiroaki Misawa: Project Lead.

Hiroaki Misawa: Project Lead.

We also have links with the Tokyo Metropolitan University, Kyushu University, and the University of Toronto.

We are proud to have strong links with major industry players including IBM, Cisco and Stephens Gaskets shim washer manufacturing. Their significant financial investment and expertise allows us to continue to stay at the forefront of cutting edge research to the benefit of the scientific community and to the advancement of high-end industrial processes.

nano particle

Imaging the charge distribution within a single molecule.

In the past, scientists have focused on high efficiency and high selectivity of chemical reactions. Most of the studies dealt with molecular design to achieve optimized photoreactions in which energy transfer and photon-electron migration take place. Yet, not much attention was paid to the possibility of manipulating the optical field for optimum coupling to the molecules (materials).

Recent studies have revealed that various nano/micro structures, such as photonic crystals and plasmonic nanoparticles can control the group velocity of light and confine photons in nanoscale domains. These capabilities may allow manipulation of the optical field to be usual for the initiation of photochemical reactions.

The studies on photonic crystal and plasmonics evolved independently in the past. The field of photonic crystals was emerged in the late 1980’s, and then has progressed rapidly owing to the progress in the development of theoretical concepts and micro-fabrication techniques.

The origin of plasmonics dates back to as early as the Middle Ages.The medieval people already knew how to make stained glasses, which is part of the application of plasmonics.However, they did not know that the color of stained glass results from localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of the small metallic nano-particles of gold and silver embedded in the glass.This phenomenon was later demonstrated in the researches conducted by Faraday in the early 19th century, and later validated by Mie and Gans in the early 20th century. At present, extensive studies on plasmon as a novel methodology for light manipulation are being conducted and the number of published papers continue to increase.

Going beyond the previous works, our mission is to study the interactions between photons confined in nano-structure and molecules, and seek for applications in the areas of material synthesis and energy conversion.As the representative of this project, I am honored to announce that our project has been selected for the “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research and Priority areas (Tokutei Ryoiki Kenkyu)” by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Difficult as it may seem, I am ready to take this exciting challenge along with other devoted experts from our field and carry out the mission to publish our research results to internationally-known journals.

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