Articles by Masaki Hada in JoVE
Novel Techniques for Observing Structural Dynamics of Photoresponsive Liquid Crystals Masaki Hada1, Shohei Saito2, Ryuma Sato3, Kiyoshi Miyata4, Yasuhiko Hayashi1, Yasuteru Shigeta3, Ken Onda4 1Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 2Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, 3Center for Computational Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 4Graduate School of Science, Kyushu University Here, we present the protocols of differential-detection analyses of time-resolved infrared vibrational spectroscopy and electron diffraction which enable observations of the deformations of local structures around photoexcited molecules in a columnar liquid crystal, giving an atomic perspective on the relationship between the structure and the dynamics of this photoactive material.
Other articles by Masaki Hada on PubMed
Bandgap Modulation in Photoexcited Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Via Atomic Displacements The Journal of Chemical Physics. Jul, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27421417 The atomic and electronic dynamics in the topological insulator (TI) Bi2Te3 under strong photoexcitation were characterized with time-resolved electron diffraction and time-resolved mid-infrared spectroscopy. Three-dimensional TIs characterized as bulk insulators with an electronic conduction surface band have shown a variety of exotic responses in terms of electronic transport when observed under conditions of applied pressure, magnetic field, or circularly polarized light. However, the atomic motions and their correlation between electronic systems in TIs under strong photoexcitation have not been explored. The artificial and transient modification of the electronic structures in TIs via photoinduced atomic motions represents a novel mechanism for providing a comparable level of bandgap control. The results of time-domain crystallography indicate that photoexcitation induces two-step atomic motions: first bismuth and then tellurium center-symmetric displacements. These atomic motions in Bi2Te3 trigger 10% bulk bandgap narrowing, which is consistent with the time-resolved mid-infrared spectroscopy results.
Simple Technique of Exfoliation and Dispersion of Multilayer Graphene from Natural Graphite by Ozone-Assisted Sonication Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland). May, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28555015 Owing to its unique properties, graphene has attracted tremendous attention in many research fields. There is a great space to develop graphene synthesis techniques by an efficient and environmentally friendly approach. In this paper, we report a facile method to synthesize well-dispersed multilayer graphene (MLG) without using any chemical reagents or organic solvents. This was achieved by the ozone-assisted sonication of the natural graphite in a water medium. The frequency or number of ozone treatments plays an important role for the dispersion in the process. The possible mechanism of graphene exfoliation and the introduction of functional groups have been postulated. The experimental setup is unique for ozone treatment and enables the elimination of ozone off-gas. The heat generated by the dissipation of ultrasonic waves was used as it is, and no additional heat was supplied. The graphene dispersion was stable, and no evidence of aggregation was observed---even after several months. The characterization results show that well-dispersed MLG was successfully synthesized without any significant damage to the overall structure. The graphene obtained by this method has potential applications in composite materials, conductive coatings, energy storage, and electronic devices.
Structural Monitoring of the Onset of Excited-State Aromaticity in a Liquid Crystal Phase Journal of the American Chemical Society. 11, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 29037042 Aromaticity of photoexcited molecules is an important concept in organic chemistry. Its theory, Baird's rule for triplet aromaticity since 1972 gives the rationale of photoinduced conformational changes and photochemical reactivities of cyclic π-conjugated systems. However, it is still challenging to monitor the dynamic structural change induced by the excited-state aromaticity, particularly in condensed materials. Here we report direct structural observation of a molecular motion and a subsequent packing deformation accompanied by the excited-state aromaticity. Photoactive liquid crystal (LC) molecules featuring a π-expanded cyclooctatetraene core unit are orientationally ordered but loosely packed in a columnar LC phase, and therefore a photoinduced conformational planarization by the excited-state aromaticity has been successfully observed by time-resolved electron diffractometry and vibrational spectroscopy. The structural change took place in the vicinity of excited molecules, producing a twisted stacking structure. A nanoscale torque driven by the excited-state aromaticity can be used as the working mechanism of new photoresponsive materials.