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, liquid crystal-like electronic states (spin liquid crystal, electron nematic order, pair density wave, etc.) have been observed in various solid materials, and have been independently studied in the fields of magnetic insulators, strongly correlated metals, and superconductivity. As these electronic states are self-organizing phenomena that give rise to new scale structures due to the quantum many-body effect, we treat them in a unified manner based on the new concept of “quantum liquid crystals” (QLCs) to establish their fundamentals. In addition to the above electronic states, a wide range of materials will be considered as QLCs in this Research Area, including symmetry-breaking states in quantum fluid systems and quantum effects introduced into ordinary liquid crystals, and their universality and diversity will be explored.

 In the Publicly Offered Research, we expect proposals with new perspectives based on original ideas, complementary to each Planned Research. Regardless of experience in research on electronic states, proposals that include the development of new research methods and proposals for future new technologies using quantum effects are also welcome. In Research Group A01, we will develop and fabricate materials that exhibit QLC states and provide samples for other experimental groups. Research proposals on not only inorganic materials but also a wide range of systems such as organic compounds, molecular materials, complexes, and metal-organic structures are widely solicited. For Research Group B01, we expect research proposals elucidating the ground states and elementary excitations of QLCs, especially proposals focusing on the hierarchical structure on the space-time scale. For Research Group C01, theoretical studies on QLCs and their emergent phenomena are solicited, and proposals that consider collaboration with other experimental Research Groups are encouraged. Research Group D01 calls for research that aims to control QLCs using various methods and to search for functions based on macroscopic changes of physical properties.

 To promote the exchange of researchers from different fields, we also welcome proposals that promote collaborations and interdisciplinary research proposals from fields not related to inorganic materials. We further expect active applications from research fields such as soft matter, organic materials, quantum information, and applied mathematics. We plan to select three large research projects with an upper limit of 5 million yen per year for experimental proposals.

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

Briefing session about the 2nd phase of the FYR04-05 Publicly Offered Researches was held online on September 7, 2021.
The content of this briefing session is broadcasted on the QLC channel.

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

(Download of application guidelines and research proposal form)