WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR), Tohoku University


Established in 2007, the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, has been conducting cutting-edge research in materials science for over a decade. It was launched as one of the research centres founded under the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Japanese government, which promotes the establishment of world-class science hubs. In 2017, the AIMR became a member of the WPI Academy, which consists of WPI centres that have achieved world-premier status.

The AIMR has about 100 leading researchers, including 27 internationally renowned principal investigators. About 40% of these researchers are from overseas. The institute has four materials-related groups, which are exploring the physics of materials, non-equilibrium materials, soft materials, and devices and systems. In addition, the AIMR’s Mathematical Science Group is pursuing mathematics−materials science collaboration with these four groups.

The institute has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research and is conducting research in the overlap between fields such as materials science, physics, chemistry, and precision, mechanical, electronics, and information engineering. Furthermore, under the leadership of its director, Motoko Kotani, many of its researchers are exploring the interface between materials science and mathematics — a rich seam of new science. This collaboration between these two fields is unique at an institutional level.

The AIMR is strongly promoting global collaboration. It has established three joint centres with the University of Cambridge in the UK, the University of Chicago in the USA and Tsinghua University in China. It also has nine international partner institutions in Europe, the USA and Asia. Furthermore, the AIMR encourages researcher exchange through its Global Intellectual Incubation and Integration Laboratory (GI3 Lab).

The institute is also actively engaged in developing devices and systems based on its research, contributing to society by addressing global problems.

Following the selection of Tohoku University as a Designated National University by the Japanese government in 2017, the AIMR will play a major role in establishing a new materials research centre at the university.

More information about the latest research at the AIMR is available at the AIMResearch website.

The Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) retains sole responsibility for content © 2020 Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR).

1 August 2019 - 31 July 2020

Principal institution: Organization for Advanced Studies (OAS), Tohoku University

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR), Tohoku University published between 1 August 2019 - 31 July 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
65 10.54

Outputs by subject (Share)

Subject Count Share
Physical Sciences 51 9.21
Chemistry 24 3.09
Life Sciences 2 0.54

Highlight of the month

Glass-like nanoparticles merge faster than conventional ones



Metallic glass nanoparticles— nanoparticles consisting of metal atoms with in a disordered, glass-like arrangement — coalesce more rapidly than conventional metal nanoparticles, which have regular, crystalline structures.

Metallic glass nanoparticles are potentially useful for many applications, including catalysis and biomedical materials. Like all nanoparticles, metallic glass nanoparticles coalesce with each other over time, which considerably alters their properties. But not much is known about their coalescence behaviour.

Now, researchers from the Advanced Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University have used transmission electron microscopy to examine the coalescence of metallic glass nanoparticles. This analysis revealed that metallic glass nanoparticles coalesce faster than their conventional counterparts.

Computer simulations revealed that these different coalescence behaviours spring from the different mobilities of atoms on the nanoparticles’ surfaces, which in turn arises from the different nanoparticle morphologies.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 10, 5249 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13054-z

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR), Tohoku University

More research highlights from WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR), Tohoku University

Top articles by Altmetric score in current window

Giant spin hydrodynamic generation in laminar flow

Nature Communications


Fluctuation-response inequality out of equilibrium.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


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