At the 9th International Conference on Molecular Electronics and Bioelectronics held from June 26-28 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, second-year graduate student Saki Matsumoto, majoring in pure and applied sciences, received an award for best poster. The poster’s title was “Selective metal-vapor absorption/desorption on photochromic surfaces.” A total of fourteen posters were selected from among the 220 submissions by researchers aged 35 and under.
Matsumoto’s research in the Molecular Nano-Optics Laboratory involves selective metal-vapor deposition. She has observed that evaporating metals result in differing degrees of adherence to colored or colorless membranes created by exposing diarylethene organic molecules to light.
Matsumoto explained that the phenomenon depends on the type of metal. For example, selective metal-vapor deposition does not occur with precious metals such as gold and silver, but does with magnesium and lead. She discovered that metals with a higher vapor pressure have more selective metal-vapor deposition. Calcium and lithium, however, have high vapor pressures, but do not exhibit the phenomenon. The reason for this unusual occurrence with both colored and colorless membranes, she discovered, is that it depends on the chemical reaction with the metal’s atoms and molecules. This research is expected to have applications in the fine electrode pattern formation used for a high level of integration of electronic components.
About the award, Matsumoto said, “It was hard to decide how to summarize the findings of so many experiments. The presentation was in English, so I worked really hard on preparing that, too.” Commenting on what comes next, she said. “I only have about a half-year until I graduate, and I want to finish this chapter of university life, including my thesis, with no regrets.” Her adviser, Professor Tsuyoshi Tsujioka, said, “About ten years have passed since selective metal-vapor deposition was first discovered, and until now, it wasn’t known why it was metal-specific. Thanks to Matsumoto’s hard work obtaining the experimental data, it is now fairly well explained. I plan to focus on research geared toward different applications now.”