The Structure Science Group is investigating the atomic arrangements of materials using the wave characteristic of neutrons to understand their physical properties and materials functions. For this purpose, we have developed the world’s highest-resolution neutron diffractometer. We also developed a dedicated neutron instrument for the study of structural changes of electrodes in rechargeable batteries during charging/discharging reaction.
Solid-state materials are classified into ‘crystal’ with high regularity and ‘amorphous/glass’ with low regularity. The differences in the arrangement of atoms and ions are what give solid-state materials their wide range of functions such as catalysts that facilitate chemical reactions, magnetic substances such as high-capacity storage media (hard disks), ionic conductors that are applied to gas sensors and storage batteries, thermoelectric materials, and superconductors. Researchers worldwide are creating materials with certain properties by combining atoms and ions, and they are trying to understand the theory behind why those properties emerge.
Our group is studying the structures and properties of substances and their relationships with functions of those substances by using two different neutron diffraction devices to analyze the arrangement of atoms and ions, an important aspect in materials research and structural property research. By using neutrons as a probe, and X-rays, synchrotron radiation, NMR, and RAMAN as needed, we can find how to express the functions of a material.
The arrangement of atoms is studied with the highest accuracy by using the scattering and interference of neutrons with a wavelength equal to the distance between the atoms. The neutron diffractometer, SuperHRPD, which has the highest resolution of any ones in the world, can measure a tiny structural change that cannot be detected by conventional instruments.
While X-rays are scattered by electrons, neutrons are scattered by the nucleus of the atom. As a result, a small change in a material such as lithium, which is a light element, can be detected. In addition, the structural information of a particular part can be obtained by using the difference in the scattering power of isotopes. We are developing a neutron diffractometer called SPICA, under the auspices of the “Research & Development Initiative for Scientific Innovation of New Generation Batteries (RISING)” at the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and we are analyzing the change in the atomic arrangement of lithium and other atoms in charge and discharge reactions at the atomic level.
We are researching a new structural analysis method to be used to conduct cutting-edge research in materials structure science with neutron diffractometers at J-PARC. In addition, we are developing Z-Code, a suite of software for the new method.
One positive aspect for graduate students in the Department of Materials Structure Science in the School of High Energy Accelerator Science at Sokendai (the Graduate University for Advanced Studies) is that they have access to the world’s most state-of-the-art probes (neutrons, muons, synchrotron radiation, and positrons) while at the same time receiving thorough instruction in the classroom. All graduate students will have many opportunities to give presentations at domestic and international academic meetings and travel overseas to improve their skills and gain various experiences. In addition, the university promotes interaction with domestic and foreign researchers and students. The graduate student can get support from a research assistant (RA) system, a scholarship system, and a tuition waiver. Our group is composed of people with degrees in physics, engineering, chemistry, and mathematics and we are looking for students who are eager to conduct new research in these fields. All the graduates from our group find employment at universities and research institutes after graduation.
|SANO, Asami||Professor (Cross Appointment/JAEA)|
|SAITO, Takashi||Assoc. Professor（In charge of SPICA, SuperHRPD）|
|TORII, Shuki||Engineering Counselor（In charge of SuperHRPD, SPICA）|
|KAMIYAMA, Takashi||Professor Emeritus, Researcher（SuperHRPD, SPICA）|
|HAGIWARA, Masato||Associate Researcher（SuperHRPD）|
|SHIOYA, Masahiro||Engineer (BBT)|
|NANBA, Kaoru||Reseacher (WDB)|
|Nur Ika Puji Ayu||Student（SOKENDAI）|
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2007.10.18 中性子の100メートル走 ～ 世界一精密な中性子回折装置 ～
2002.10.03 金属の疲労破壊や亀裂を探る ～ パルス状中性子の利用 ～
2001.07.25 中性子回折法による新型電池の研究 私たちの研究 2 - 加速器を用いた中性子回折法 -
2010.02.23 A high resolution, high intensity neutron diffractometer