8-12 Dec 2019, Singapore
Kohzo Ito received his B. E, M. E. and Ph. D. degrees in applied physics from the University of Tokyo. In 1986, he joined the Research Institute of Polymers and Textiles. He was transferred back to Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1991 and promoted to full professor at Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo in 2003. He was concurrently a program manager of ImPACT (Impulsive Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technology) program, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. He has been researching the polymer physics and supramolecular chemistry and now is focusing on polyrotaxane using cyclodextrin, necklace-like supramolecule with topological characteristics. He invented slide-ring materials with movable cross-links by cross-linking polyrotaxane in 2000, and set up a venture company to urge the application of the slide-ring materials in 2005. He has been the author of over 300 publications including original research papers, reviews, and books, and about 70 patents. He received The Award of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2006). And he is currently an editor of Polymer, Elsevir.
"Slide-Ring Materials: Novel Tough Polymers for Automobile"
We have developed a novel type of polymer network called slide-ring materials by cross-linking polyrotaxane, the supramolecular architecture with topological characteristics. In the network, polymer chains are topologically interlocked by figure-of-eight cross-links. Hence, these cross-links can pass along the polymer chains freely to equalize the tension of the threading polymer chains similarly to pulleys. The slide-ring gel or elastomer shows quite small Young’s modulus, which is not proportional to the cross-linking density and much lower than those of chemical gels with the same density. This arises from the difference in the molecular mechanism of the entropic elasticity. The concept of the slide-ring gel is not limited to cross-linked gels but also includes elastomer, cross-linked polymeric materials without solvent. Accordingly it can be applied to wide area such as paints, rubbers, soft actuator, resins and so on. As a typical example, the scratch-resist properties of the self-restoring slide-ring elastomer were adopted into the top coating on the mobile phone. The slide-ring materials were used as a key technology to create tough polymers for automobile in ImPACT (Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies) program, one of the largest national project in Japan. As a result, the mechanical properties of polyamide resins and CFRP have been improved drastically. A concept car using these novel tough polymers were constructed.