Department of Advanced Materials Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Research Groups

Yoshiaki Sugimoto Group

Applied Physics [Single Atom/Molecule Science]

Yoshiaki Sugimoto Group


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May scientific discovery be with you in the laboratory

I got interested in physics when I was thirteen years old. I read a book and was really shocked at the world of Theory of relativity.
Then, I majored in physics at university and started my academic life as experimentalist.

Message to students

You can find something interesting in nano-world if you usecutting-edge instruments and has a great sensitivity to small changes.
In our laboratory, many students have discovered new phenomena.

Developing one of discoveries, we recently successfully demonstrated that nano-scale switch devices were fabricated by atom manipulation and operated even at room temperature. Playing with atoms is a lot of fun!

Associate Professor Yoshiaki Sugimoto


Associate Professor Yoshiaki Sugimoto

  • 2001 B.Sci. in Physics, Osaka University
  • 2006 Ph.D. (Eng.), Osaka University
  • 2006 Postdoctoral Researcher, Osaka University
  • 2007 Tenure Track Researcher, Osaka University
  • 2011 Associate Professor, Osaka University
  • 2015 Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo

Introduction of the study

The ability to assemble nanostructures with unique and specific properties is a key technology for developing the next generation devices. For this goal, major success is anticipated through the bottom-up approach: an attempt to create such nano-devices from the atomic or molecular level instead of miniaturizing from the macroscopic world. In the bottom-up approach, the ultimate limit is to fabricate artificial nanostructures on surfaces by manipulating single atoms or molecules one by one.

In our laboratory, we are developing such atom manipulation techniques as well as chemical identification and local characterization techniques using scanning probe microscopy (SPM). Our SPMs are based on Atomic force microscopy (AFM) that has wide applications, such as, insulator imaging and force measurements.

Combination with Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) allows us to access various physical/chemical quantities on identical atoms at the same time. We are also developing the new system to achieve higher spatial resolution and higher functionality.

Message from a senior

Kohei Niki

Kohei Niki

Sugimoto-sensei is one of world leading scientists in the field of scanning probe microscopy. In our laboratory, we study atomic scale physics and nanotechnology with our own idea. Up to now, many of students discovered interesting phenomena using our home-built atomic force microscopes, which have the highest spatial resolution in the world. My research subject is chemical identification of single atoms.
Since everything is made of atoms, development of the chemical identification is relevant to a wide range of research areas. Naming atoms is really fun and challenging!