Can you introduce yourself, give us a brief description about who you are, and where you are based in the world.
I am a Professor at the School of Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), Japan. I earned my BEng, MEng, and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Kyoto University in 1991, 1993, and 1998, respectively. Since 1996, I have been a faculty member in the Department of Applied Chemistry at Kyutech. I was a visiting researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the University of Minnesota, during the summer seasons of 1999 and 2000.
In a few sentences, please describe the focus of your work.
My current research focuses on the coating, drying, and microstructuring of liquid thin films of soft matters, including colloidal suspensions, polymer blends, photocurable fluids, and liquid crystals. I am particularly interested in solving practical problems in industrial coating processes based on scientific understandings and in developing new characterization tools for analysing drying-induced microstructural evolutions.
What sparked your interest in this field and why is it important?
Liquid thin-film coatings, one of the core technologies in advanced industries, have been widely used to produce organic transistors, solar cells, optical photo conductors, fuel cells, lithium-ion battery electrodes, magnetic tapes, optical films for displays, ink-jet papers, adhesive tapes, color-coated steels, medical tapes for drug delivery, packaging and labels, and cosmetics.
Despite this diversity, common scientific principles work for designing and optimizing the coating processes, motivating me to contribute to the development of fundamental science in liquid thin-film coatings. Coating science and technology have been developed in the chemical engineering community and are significantly related to fluid mechanics, rheology, soft matter physics, transport phenomena, and polymer science.