About the Center
The International Research and Education Center for Element Science was founded in April 2015, based on the Element Innovation Project team. The faculty of Science and Technology at Gunma University has a long history of materials innovation based on carbon and silicon. The newly founded center mainly investigates advanced carbon materials and high-quality silicon compounds for use in dye-sensitized solar cells, non-precious catalysts for use in fuel cells, electrochemical double layer capacitors, and new active materials for lithium ion batteries and other applications. It also covers the areas of graphene physics and chemistry, as well as plasma chemistry to produce novel functional materials. The center has three faculty members and other members from other departments of the faculty. The laboratories of the center are well equipped with the latest instruments for nano-material science.
Fascinating carbon materials
Have you ever heard of “carbon materials”? You can find the materials around you in your everyday life: pencil lead, bikes, rackets, refrigerator deodorizers, and so forth. I have been fascinated by this material for over thirty years because of its versatile properties, which can be tuned easily by preparation, Can you imagine ten-orders of magnitude changes? You can see such a big change when you carbonize organic molecules and measure their electrical conductivity. I was so excited by this fact when I was a masters student. Now my colleagues and I are interested in carbon catalysts that will replace precious metal catalysts, for example in fuel cells and chemical syntheses.
Nanoscale exploration of graphene and silicon surfaces
Our research is focused on understanding the fundamentals of molecule-surface interaction and properties of the resulting interfaces, leading to the development of an entirely new class of materials and sub-nanometer structures on surfaces. While silicon is the cornerstone of modern semiconductor technology, carbon materials such as graphene have emerged as the most promising materials for next-generation technology. We are investigating two technologically important materials: (1) graphene and (2) silicon surfaces. Our fundamental study will develop basic principles that will guide us in exploiting the findings in numerous socially pervasive applications, such as information technology, biotechnology, and renewable energy.
Zakir Md. Hossain
Surface chemistry of nano carbonsurface
Nano carbons, such as carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, and graphenes, are expected as high-performance electrode materials used in sensors and batteries due to their high surface areas, chemical stability, and electric conductivity. It is well known that the surface state of nano carbons strongly affects their performance as does the structural morphology at the nano scale. Thus analyzing and designing the surface and morphology are important issues for enhancing performance. My research subject is to develop useful techniques for preparing nano carbon materials.