Publicly Offered Res.

Physical Properties of Quantum Liquid Crystals

Number of Research Area : 6101  Term of Project : FY2019-2023
Head Investigator : Takasada Shibauchi
Research Institution : The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Professor

Recently, novel electronic states similar to conventional liquid crystals such as spin liquid crystals, electronic nematic orders, and pair density wave have been observed in several solid materials, and studied independently in each research field. In this research project, we focus on these self-organized electronic states with new scales arising from many-body quantum effects, and introduce a new concept “quantum liquid crystals” (QLCs) to unify these novel states of matter. Here we explore broad QLC materials like quantum fluid systems with broken symmetries and conventional liquid crystals exhibiting some quantum effects, in addition to the above-mentioned examples, and study both the universality and diversity of QLCs.
We call for research proposals with original ideas and new viewpoints, complementary to the planned research. A total of 12 grants will be funded. Applications will be considered in any area of research relating to quantum liquid crystals. This research may be fundamental in nature, or orientated to method development and future quantum technology, and need not be based on previous research on electronic states. Within this broad area, four major themes have been identified. Research group A01 aims to develop and synthesize materials that exhibit QLC states, and distributes them to other experimental research groups. We welcome proposals treating broad materials including organic and molecular-based materials, as well as complexes and metal-organic frameworks. In research group B01, we invite research proposals to clarify the ground states and elementary excitations of QLCs, and especially those focusing on hierarchy structures of length and time scales. Research group C01 calls for theoretical research proposals on QLC states and related emerging phenomena, with emphasis on cooperation with experimental research groups. In research group D01, we welcome research proposals aiming to control QLCs by using a variety of methods and searching for novel functionality based on a macroscopic change in physical properties.
We also call for collaborative research proposals promoting relationship between researchers in different fields, or interdisciplinary research proposals from outside of the research field of physical properties in inorganic systems. Especially, proposals from research fields of soft-matter including liquid crystals, organic materials, quantum information, applied mathematics, etc. are welcomed. For experimental proposals, we will accept 2 large-scale research proposals with annual budget up to 5 million yen.

Research Group Upper Limit of
Annual Budget
(Million yen)
Number of
research projects scheduled to be selected
A01 Development of QLC materials Experimental: 5

Experimental: 3

Theoretical: 1.5




B01 Advanced measurements of QLCs
C01 Theory of QLCs
D01 Control and functionality of QLCs

Please refer to the following URL by MEXT for details about application guidelines.

(Download of application guidelines and research proposal form)