Department of Materials Structure Science, SOKENDAI

Message from the Director

The Department of Materials Structure Science is based on the Institute of Materials Structure Science (IMSS), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).

The IMSS conducts cutting-edge materials and life science research, mainly utilizing four quantum beams as probes generated from advanced accelerators: synchrotron radiation, neutrons, muons, and slow positrons. The Photon Factory (PF/PF-AR) and the Slow Positron Facility (SPF) are located at the Tsukuba campus, while the Materials and Life science experimental Facility (MLF) at J-PARC, located adjacent to the Tokai campus, provides access to neutrons and muons. A state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope (CryoEM), which is mainly used in life science research, is also located at the Tsukuba Campus. We are actively utilizing these facilities and instruments to promote not only in-depth use of a single probe and method but also complementary or correlative analysis either using multiple probes (multi-probes) or combining multiple methods even for the same probe, and are pioneering basic and applied research in extremely broad and cutting-edge fields related to (biological) material structure and function.

The field of education and research has been greatly affected by the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in recent years. Although this has caused some difficulties, such as the inability to carry out experiments as quickly as expected, the use of online technology has conversely broadened the scope of research activities by enabling easy contact not only with Japan but also with the entire world. In addition to the development of remote experimentation techniques, we also conduct research that aims to integrate theory and experimentation using machine learning and other information science approaches, as well as technological development research to realize fully automated measurement and analysis.

The Department of Materials Structure Science aims to train students who can not only understand the fundamentals of these quantum beams and make advanced use of them but also pioneer new cutting-edge applications to create the next generation of science, taking advantage of our strength in having these large facilities. Graduates of this department are active as core researchers at quantum beam facilities in Japan and abroad, as well as power users at various facilities affiliated with universities and companies.

We hope that they will spread their wings to the world by learning, exploring, and performing together with our staff.

SHIMIZU, Nobutaka

Director of Department of Materials Structure Science, SOKENDAI
Professor, The Institute of Materials Structure Science, High energy Acclerator Reseach Organization (KEK)
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