A research group consisting of Assistant Professor Mitsuaki Yamauchi, Seiya Yamamoto (a second-year Master's student at the Graduate School of Science and Technology), and Professor Sadahiro Masuo, have discovered that when organic molecules and inorganic particles, which have completely different properties, are mixed together, they line up alternately. Furthermore, they succeeded in adding photoresponsive properties that are difficult to achieve with only inorganic particles by utilizing the photoresponsive properties of the organic molecules.
Research into organic-inorganic hybrid materials has flourished because they do not simply behave as materials with their own properties, but they also create novel physical properties and functions which can only be expressed by fusing them. However, it is difficult to align organic and inorganic materials with different properties in a logical and precise way at the nanometer level. To solve this problem, the research group developed a method of ordering fine particles using the self-assembly of organic molecules, and succeeded in alternately ordering inorganic quantum dots and photoresponsive organic molecules and controlling their assembly structure with light.
Based on these results, not only will new organic-inorganic hybrid assembly structures, that are precisely controlled in the nanometer range, be created, it will also be possible to add functions unique to organic molecules, such as stimulus responsiveness. This is expected to lead to the development of superior functional materials that are distinctly different from conventional hybrid materials.
The results of this research were published in the Early View section of the International Edition of the German journal Angewandte Chemie on February 10, 2021, and it was selected as a "Hot Paper" by the journal's editorial board.