2021 Soft Materials

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Michinobu Tsuyoshi  Ishige Ryohei 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
at Tsinghua Univ. ()  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course is for students in Tokyo Tech-Tsinghua University joint graduate program. The course is held at Tsinghua University in Beijing and mainly deals with the fundamental concepts of soft materials. Since the instructors and the topics change every year, the course contents will be revised every year. This year, the course will be divided into two: the former half will deal with structure and physical properties of soft matters including liquid crystal and polymers and the latter half will be synthesis and applications of organic semiconducting polymers.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will acquire the following abilities:
1) Students will gain an understanding of thermodynamics of the hierarchical structures and the physical properties of soft matters and several analytical methods for them.
2) Students will understand how to produce organic semiconducting polymers and structure-property relationship.


Liquid crystal, block copolymer, polyimide, self-organization, X-ray scattering, vibrational spectroscopy, polarized light, Organic semiconductor, Polymer synthesis, Cross-coupling reaction, Organic electroluminescence, Organic transistor, Organic photovoltaics

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course will proceed in the following order: (1) hierachical structures of soft matters including polymers, (2) organic semiconducting polymers.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Thermodynamics of soft matters (1) Explain soft matters on the basis of entropy
Class 2 Thermodynamics of soft matters (2) Explain the ordering mechanism of soft matters on the basis of entropy
Class 3 Liquid crystalline polymers Explain successive phase transition, orientation, and characteristics of liquid crystalline polymers
Class 4 Polymer blends and block copolymers Explain the ordering mechanism of polymer alloys with thermodynamics
Class 5 Functional polymers Explain how the functional polymers exhibit heat resistance properties with thermodynamics
Class 6 Synchrotron (SR) X-ray scattering Explain the methods of structural analyses on soft matters using SR-X-ray
Class 7 Polarized vibrational spectroscopy Explain molecular-orientation analyses based on polarized infrared absorbance and Raman scattering spectroscopies
Class 8 Characteristics of Organic Semiconducting Polymers Explain the characteristics of organic semiconducting polymers
Class 9 Cross-Coupling Reactions Explain the mechanism of cross-coupling reactions
Class 10 Cross-Coupling Polymerization Explain how to produce semiconducting polymers by cross-coupling polymerization
Class 11 Direct Arylation Polymerization Explain direct arylation polymerization
Class 12 Organic Electroluminescence Explain organic electroluminescence devices
Class 13 Organic Transistors Explain organic transistors
Class 14 Organic Photovoltaics Explain organic photovoltaics


Non required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Materials used in class can be found on OCW-i or T2SCHORA.

Assessment criteria and methods

Practice problems and interpretation for confirming the level of understanding (90%), level of class participation (10%) (The level of class participation will be evaluated by discussion, brief examination in the lecture.)

Related courses

  • CAP.P421 : Special Lecture on Characterization of Polymer Structures and Properties
  • CAP.P422 : Advanced Polymer Properties
  • CAP.P432 : Elements of Polymer Science II
  • MAT.P426 : Thermal Properties of Materials
  • MAT.P414 : Soft Materials Function

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

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