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Nagoya Institute of Technology
Gokiso, Showa, Nagoya 466-8555, JAPAN
--- Interface phenomena and functionality ---
Physical and chemical phenomena emerging at surfaces and interfaces play an important role in realizing various functions on a solid surface.  In particular, electron transfers at solid-liquid interfaces can mediate the interactions between electrical energy and chemical change.  Thus,  a deeper understanding of controlling interfacial electron transfers is required for further advancement in energy technology.  We investigate electron transfer phenomena using various spectroscpic and electrochemical methods for characterization and modification of solid surfaces on the atomic and molecular scale.

<Research interests>
- Electrochemical and spectroscopic investigations of electrified interfaces
- Atomic and molecula scale design of functional surfaces
- Development of novel spectroscopic methods

For deeper understanding of the electrochemical interfaces, it is essential to “observe” microscopic structures of the interfaces. In general, vibrational spectroscopies such as infrared absorption or Raman scattering are useful for chemical analysis. However, normal vibrational spectroscopy has insufficient sensitivity for probing electrochemical double layer, nm-mm scale structure formed at electrochemical interfaces. Particular methods for selective observation of interfaces are also necessary; otherwise bulk electrolyte prevent observation of the interface. In this laboratory, we realize the interface-selective observation by the surface-enhanced techniques. We utilize surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRAS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for investigating electrochemical interfaces. Development of novel spectroscopic techniques is also in progress.

For elucidating the correlation between microscopic structure and macroscopic electron transfer property at the interface, precise electrochemical measurement technique is also necessary. In this laboratory, we utilize various methods such as rotating disk electrode (RDE), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM). Precise measurement using single crystal electrode which have atomically flat surface is also performed for probing the effect of atomic-scale structure on electron transfer.

Functional design of electrochemical interfaces requires improvement of both electrodes and electrolytes. As for electrodes, their function can be controlled by surface modification such as monoatomic metal layers or functionalized molecular layer. As for electrolytes, “ionic liquids” containing no neutral constituent are expected as novel materials which show unique interfacial structures and functions. In this laboratory, we are pursuing basic science on electrocatalysis and photofunctional electrodes, and control of electrochemical reactions in ionic liquid electrolytes.