Tomiki Ikeda

Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University

Research AreasPolymer Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Photochemistry
Participating Group (2018-2019)

Creation of Polymer Soft Crystals with Photofunctional Properties

Polymer Soft Crystal, Soft Crystal, Nano Phase Separation, Free Molding, Lamellar Structure, Photofunctional Property
Co-Researcher: Toru Ube (Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University, Associate Professor)
Co-Researcher: Naoki Urazoe (Chuo University Graduate School of Science and Engineering,Graduate student)

Research Outline

Soft crystals have high potential as functional materials with excellent responsiveness to weak external stimuli. In order to facilitate the application of these materials, we propose polymer soft crystals, which can be processed into complicated three-dimensional architectures as conventional linear polymers. In polymer solids, crystalline and amorphous regions can coexist and precisely designed polymers exhibit nano-phase separated structures as in block copolymers. With the aid of these properties, we create nano-phase-separated polymer soft crystals, in which flexible main chains and crystalline side chains are separated at nanometer scales.

Polymer soft crystal with a nano phase separated structure

Incorporation of photoresponsive moieties into crystalline regions could provide the polymer soft crystals with photofunctionality. Fabrication of free-standing films, thermal molding and 3D printing could be realized in the same manner as conventional polymers, which may be highly promising in applying these materials to actual devices.


Academic papers/reviewed


  1. "Photomobile Polymer Materials with Complex 3D Deformation, Continuous Motions, Self‐Regulation, and Enhanced Processability" *T. Ube, *T. Ikeda, Adv. Opt. Mater., 7, 1900380 (2019).
  2. "Remolding of Photoresponsive Polymer Materials by Means of Dynamic Covalent Bonds in a Main Chain" M. Matsushita, K. Kawasaki, T. Ube, *T. Ikeda, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 676, 17-23 (2019).
  3. "Supramolecular Assemblies Composed of Polymer Brushes and Conjugated Molecules for Organic Photovoltaics" R. Nakayama, T. Ube, K. Katayama, M. Haga, *T. Ikeda, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 676, 24-29 (2019).
  4. “Photoinduced Deformation and Isomerization of Azobenzene Liquid-Crystalline Polymer Films at Cryogenic Temperature” S. Ogikubo, G. Hashimoto, T. Ube, M. Suda, H. Yamamoto, *T. Ikeda, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 676, 30-35 (2019).
  5. "Development of Novel Network Structures in Crosslinked Liquid-Crystalline Polymers" *T. Ube, Polym. J., 51, 983-988 (2019).
  6. "Fabrication of Photomobile Polymer Materials with Phase-Separated Structures of Crosslinked Azobenzene Liquid-Crystalline Polymer and Poly(dimethylsiloxane)" T. Ube, T. Yoda, *T. Ikeda, Liq. Cryst., 45, 2269-2273 (2018).

Related Website(s)