Chemistry to Learn in College of Chemistry
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Chemical Research in College of Chemistry

Inorganic Chemistry of the Next Generation

 There is much focus recently on complex molecules with metal elements, and their reactivity, structure, and physical characteristics. Cancer-treating platinum complexes, enzymes with trace metal in the active center, the biological impact of materials, materials taking advantage of catalysts used in chemical engineering or the characteristics of metal, and creation of new functional materials are some of the important advancements in how metal-based materials can be used.

New compound linked by linear-structured silver

The Frontier in Organic Chemistry

 Organic chemistry investigates molecules structured mainly with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen elements. There has been much research on integrating metal atoms into organic compounds, with a dramatic increase in the flexibility to design new compounds. These newly created organic metal compounds have unique structures, which are expected to lead to new types of functional materials. They are becoming one of the main topics in modern chemistry.
 Scientists have always sought to create beautifully structured molecules, and one of the new molecules synthesized by the techniques of chemistry is the dendrimer, a tree-like array of atoms. By replacing elements with silicon, special functions such as photoreactivity, heat decomposition, and conductivity are realized, expanding the dreams of researchers even further.

Chemical structure of a dendrimer, an element of nanotechnology

Fine Organic Synthesis

 Organic compounds have a 3D structure, and there are stereoisomers for many organic compounds, which are different in the 3D arrangement of atoms. The effectiveness of medical drugs depends on the stereoisomers, so fine organic synthesis for each stereoisomer and selective synthesis of stereoisomers and regioisomers are crucial to drug development. Fine organic synthesis is the creation of compounds according to accurate molecular design theory, based on strictly defined three dimensional structures.

Observing Biological Phenomena through Chemistry

 Many phenomena seen in biology are controlled with chemical substances. Organic biochemistry and inorganic biochemistry focus on the elements transmitting information within or between individual organisms (e.g. hormones, pheromones), and the biological functional materials that exist inside organisms (e.g. biotoxins, antibiotics).
 Recent advancements in chemistry allow us to understand the phenomena of life at the levels of molecules and molecular aggregates. Such research provides the foundation for developing drugs and agricultural chemicals that directly enhance human welfare, and help us to shed light on the mysteries of biological phenomena.

Cancer-causing substance in Pteridium aquilinum ("warabi")

Physical Chemistry of Nanocrystals 

 Common materials show completely different characteristics in the nano-world. Gold, for example, gives out a seductive shine and shows electric conductivity, but in the nano-world, gold turns red and becomes a semi-conductor or insulator, depending on its size. This is because the behavior of conduction electrons in the gold nanocrystal has changed. By chemically controlling the size and shape of metals, semi-conductors, and other inorganic nanocrystals in the nano-world and clarifying its characteristics from the behavior of electrons, we can develop new functional materials, contributing greatly to the advancement of nanotechnology.

2D array structure of gold nanoparticles of 5.7 nm in diameter

Tracking Ultrafast Reaction Dynamics

 There are many familiar phenomena caused by the interaction of matter with light, for example the luminescence of fireflies, the blooming of morning glories, and the sense of sight allowing us to see objects. Molecules are excited by absorbing photo-energy to become reaction-active. Laser pulses induce ultrafast reactions of only specifically targeted molecules. The measurements of absorption and fluorescence spectra in a very short-time period ( ns=10-9s, and ps=10-12 s) enable clarifying excited states and behaviors of reaction intermediates, and furthermore tracking ultrafast reaction dynamics.

Laser spectroscopy system for tracking ultrafast photochemical reactions