One young researcher in the spotlight: Y. Tokudome

Biographical data
Yasuaki Tokudome received his Bachelor (2005) and Master (2007) degrees from Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University. He is now a PhD candidate of Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, under the supervision of Prof. K. Nakanishi, and a fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion Science.

Research activity
His research interest focuses on the novel synthesis route for monolithic macroporous materials in non-silica sol-gel systems, such as alumina. Among various solution-based methodologies, his particular interest is devoted to the spontaneous, alkoxide-free, template-free process. The process has been successfully realized by using ionic precursors as a starting inorganic source, epoxides as a weak base, and water-soluble polymer as a phase separation inducer. For example, in alumina sol-gel system, aluminum chloride hexahydrate and poly (ethylene oxide) dissolved in a H2O/ethanol produce macro/mesoporous alumina monolith by the addition of propylene oxide. In this method, concurrence of sol-gel transition and gelation forms macroporous monolithic materials comprised not only of amorphous network but also of crystalline nanoparticles. As well as porous aluminas, the synthesis of aluminates and phosphates with well-defined macropores are also possible. Monolithic oxides with hierarchical porosity thus obtained are to be applied to catalyst supports and separation media. The precise conditions (starting compositions and external conditions) highly depend on the individual systems, and hence, further research is required to investigate the factors which dictate the feasibility of this reaction. He continues focusing on the versatility of the method in other sol-gel systems.

Present affiliation and contact information
Yasukai Tokudome
Dept. of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502 JAPAN
Phone +8175 753 7673
Fax +8175 753 7673