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Personal Particulars

I received my Ph.D degree in materials engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Hideo Takezoe and Prof. Ken Ishikawa.  I have been working as a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Dr. Fumito Araoka at RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan. My principal interests are the physicochemical properties of soft matters, particularly the surface science, rheology and electro-optical aspects of materials in liquid-crystalline state and plastic crystalline state, etc. Organizing materials (both organic and inorganic ones) into different types of hierarchical structures in a comprehensive way by liquid crystalline properties and apply these to real applications are the prime of my ultimate goals.

Academic qualifications



Tokyo Institute of Technology


Tokyo Institute of Technology

Half year early graduation


PhD Doctorate

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Half year early graduation

Research interests

Self-assembling, solitonic generation, interfacial science and optics in soft matters, biomaterials, etc.


liquid crystal, colloids, 2D mateirals, biomaterials, active solitons, etc.

Employment History

Apr. 2017Present

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS)

Special Postdoctoral Researcher (SPDR)

One of the most prestigious academic positions for young scientists in Japan

Aug. 2015Mar. 2017

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS)

Special Post-doc Researcher

Research interests: Research in soft matter, mainly interested in both static and dynamic behaviors and functionality in liquid crystals, colloids, 2D materials, biomaterials, active matters.

Apr. 2014Aug. 2015

Hitachi High- Technologies Corporation


Main task performed: Device engineering on next-generation DNA sequencer

Apr. 2012Apr. 2014

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Research Fellowships for Young Scientists (DC1)

Main task performed: Search for physicality correlations between microscopic physicochemicality of soft matters to the macroscopic ones. 

List of awards

(1)  Iris Award received from Japanese Liquid Crystal Society in Sep. 7, 2010. 

       Title: Optically isotropic nematic phase in confined nanosized geometry

(2) Rookie of the Year award on engineering design from Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, 2015.

(3) Incentive Award for Young Scientist from Japanese Liquid Crystal Society in Sep. 6, 2016. 

      Achievement: Physicality control and new applications in liquid crystals mediated by local structures

(4) Best Poster Award, 6 th Japanese Soft Matter Research workshop in Oct. 25, 2016.

      Title: Observation of molecular dynamics of  a Light-responsive liquid crystalline dendrimer

Grants as a principle investigator

(1) Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Kaken No. 12J00764. (2012-2014)

Project name: “Mechanism of anchoring transition in liquid crystals – Towards novel devices”

Total budget: 2,000,000 yen

(2) Research Assistants, Support fundations for improvement of prominent graduate school, Department of Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. (2013-2014)

Project name: “The-state-of-art macroscopic behaviours in liquid crystals governed by local molecular fields”

Total budget: 700,000 yen

(3) Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Kaken No.16H06037. (2016-2018)

Project name: “Thermal-responsive wetting sheets localized within mesomeric interfacial region”

Total budget: 11,440,000 yen

(4) FY2016 Incentive Research Projects, RIKEN, No. 100689 201601000077. (2016-2017)

Project name: "Towards the next generation display: low-voltage-driven nanosecond switching"

Total budget: 3,600,000 yen

(5) Project of Special Postdoctoral Researcher, subsidy from RIKEN,  April 2017- (up to 3 years).

Project name: “The physics of nanosheets-based novel 3D architectures: towards innovative designable materials”

Budget per year: 1,000,000 yen

List of industry-related researches

(1) Development of a novel concept of next-generation display devices carrying both ultralow-consumption and ultrafast switching characteristics., 2016-2018.

This work aims to realize a joint achievement of unprecedented low voltage driving and speeding up (to nanosecond order) of liquid crystal (LC) display devices based on the synergetic effect of the following two strategies. The first is to introduce ‘slippery surface’ into LC systems in order to reduce operating voltage. The second is to confine LC molecules to nano- or submeso-scaled space in order to realize ultrafast switching features.

(2) Development of highly-elastic liquid crystals for biomedical uses and display applications., 2010-2014.

This work aims to realize and to develop both synthetic schemes and applications of highly-elastic liquid crystals due to its high throughput and high responsivity to external pertubations. The main direction of the applications was assumed to be: detection of bio-species such as lipids and proteins and display applications.

List of patents filed/granted and invention disclosure

 (1) 表示素子、表示素子の製造方法, 竹添秀男, 謝 暁晨, 特開 2012-003194.

       Display elements and their fabrication methods

       Inventors: H. Takezoe, S. Aya,  JP2012-003194. (Japanese)

 (2) 液晶表示素子, 竹添 秀男, 謝 暁晨, 山下 俊, 岡野 久仁彦, 特開 2013-185110.

       Liquid crystal display elements

        Inventors: H. Takezoe, S. Aya, T. Yamashita, K. Okano,JP2013-185110. (Japanese)


       Inventors: H. Takezoe, S. Aya, T. Yamashita, K. Okano, US20130235290A1. (USA)


Annex:  List of all publications


(1) “Observation of two isotropic-nematic phase transitions near a surface”

S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, F. Araoka, K. Ema, K. Ishikawa, A. V. Emelyanenko, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 (2011) 117801-1-4. peer-reviewed


(2) “Nano-size-induced optically isotropic nematic phase”

S. Aya, K. V. Le, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 50 (2011) 051703-1-5. peer-reviewed


(3) “Isotropic-nematic transition at surface of a liquid crystal embedded in aerosol network”

S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, K. Ema, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. E 83 (2011) 061714-1-5. peer-reviewed


(4) “Liquid Crystalline amorphous blue phase and its large electrooptical Kerr effect”

K. V. Le, S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, H. Choi, F. Araoka, K. Ema, J. Mieczkowski, A. Jakli, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

J. Mater. Chem. 21, 2855-2857, 2011. peer-reviewed


(5) “Two transitions between isotropic and nematic phases in confined liquid crystals”

A. V. Emelyanenko, S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, F. Araoka, K. Ema, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. E 84, 041701-1-4, 2011. peer-reviewed


(6) “Optical isotropic phases towards display application”

F. Araoka, S. Aya, K. V. Le, and H. Takezoe*

Proc. SPIE 7956, 79560K-1-8, 2011. peer-reviewed (Invited paper )



(7) “Anchoring transition in a nematic liquid crystal doped with chiral agents”

T. A. Arun, K. V. Le, S. Aya, S. Kang, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, S. Dhara, and H. takezoe*

Phase Transit. 85, 888899, 2012. peer-reviewed


(8) “Critical behavior in an electric-field-induced anchoring transition in a liquid crystal”

S. Aya, K. V. Le, Y. Sasaki, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. E 84, 010701(R)-1-4, 2012. peer-reviewed


(9) “High-resolution calorimetric study of phase transitions in chiral smectic-C liquid

crystalline phases”

Y. Sasaki, K. V. Le, S. Aya, M. Isobe, H. Yao, C. C. Huang, H. Takezoe, and K. Ema*

Phys. Rev. E 86, 061704-1-5, 2012. peer-reviewed



(10) “Evolution of the discontinuous anchoring transition under an electric field”

S. Aya, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. E 87, 012507-1-5, 2013. peer-reviewed


(11) “Multiple nematic phases observed in chiral mesogenic dimmers”

A. Zep, S. Aya, K. Aihara, K. Ema, D. Pociecha, K. Madrak, P. Bernatowicz, H. Takezoe, and Ewa Gorecka*

J. Mater. Chem. C 1, 46-49, 2013. peer-reviewed


(12) “Unusual temperature dependence of smectic layer structure associated with the

nematic-smectic C phase transition in a hockey-stick-shaped four-ring compound”

L. Chakraborty, N. Chakraborty, D. D. Sarkar, N. V. S. Rao*, S. Aya, K. V. Le, F. Araoka,  K. Ishikawa, D. Pociecha, E. Gorecka, and H. Takezoe*

J. Mater. Chem. C 1, 1562-1566, 2013. peer-reviewed


(13) “Are chiral dopants with higher twisting power advantageous to induce wider

temperature range of the blue phases?”

H.-C. Jeong, S. Aya, S. Kang, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Liq. Cryst. 40, 951-958, 2013. peer-reviewed


(14) “Novel Bistable Device Using Anchoring Transition and Command Surface”

T. Ikeda, S. Aya, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, O. Haba, K. Yonetake, Y. Momoi, H. Takezoe*

Appl. Phys. Express, 6, 061701-1-3, 2013. peer-reviewed



(15) “Discontinuous thermal diffusivity change due to the anchoring transition of a

liquid crystal on a perfluoropolymer surface”

M. Uehara, S. Aya, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, H. Takezoe, J. Morikawa*

Chemphyschem, 15, 1452-1456, 2014. peer-reviewed


(16) “Highly elastic liquid crystals with a sub-nanonewton bending elastic constant

mediated by the resident molecular assemblies”

S. Aya, H. Obara, D. Pociecha, F. Araoka, K. Okano, K. Ishikawa, E. Gorecka, T. Yamashita, and H. Takezoe*

Adv. Mater. 26, 1918-1922, 2014. peer-reviewed (Highlighted by liquid crystal today )


(17) “Stable Electro-optic Response in Wide-temperature Blue Phases Realized in Chiral

Asymmetric Bent Dimers”

S. Aya, A. Zep, K. Aihara, K. Ema, D. Pociecha, E. Gorecka, F. Araoka, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe

Opt. Mater. Express, 4 , 662-671, 2014. peer-reviewed (Invited paper )


(18)“Structure-sensitive bend elastic constants between piconewton and subnanonewton in

diphenylacetylene-core-based liquid crystals”

S. Aya, S. Ogino, Y. Hayashi, K. Okano, D. Pociecha, K. V. Le, F. Araoka, S. Kawauchi, E. Gorecka, N. Vaupotic, H. Takezoe, and Ken Ishikawa*

Phys. Rev. E 90, 042506-1-6, 2014. peer-reviewed


(19) “Stepwise heat-capacity change at an orientation transition in liquid crystals”,

S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, D. Pociecha, F. Araoka, E. Gorecka, K. Ema, I. Musevic, H. Orihara, K. Ishikawa, and H. Takezoe*

Phys. Rev. E 89, 022512-1-5, 2014. peer-reviewed



(20) “Photoresponsive Stripe Domains in Achiral Azobenzene Liquid Crystals”

K. Okano, S. Aya, F. Araoka, H. Obara, S. Sato, T. Yamashita, H. Takezoe, and K. Asakura*

ChemPhysChem, 16, 95-98, 2015. peer-reviewed

(21) “Large Twist Elastic Constant in Diphenylacetylene-Core-Based Liquid Crystals”

K. V. Le, S. Aya, S. Ogino, K. Okano, F. Araoka, and H. Takezoe*

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 614, 124127, 2015. peer-reviewed



(22) “Thermodynamically anchoring-frustrated surface to trigger bulk discontinuous orientational transition”

S. Aya, Y. Sasaki, H. Takezoe, K. Ishikawa, K. Ema, T. Hikima, M. Takata, and F. Araoka*

Langmuir, 32, 10545-10550, 2016. DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03112_2016 peer-reviewed


(23) "Orientational transition in a liquid crystal triggered by thermodynamic growth of interfacial wetting sheets"

S. Aya*, and F. Araoka*

J. Vis Exp., 2017, DOI: 10.3791/55729. peer-reviewed

(24) "Understanding of how local liquid-crystalline orderings command the bulk physicality: towards new applications"

S. Aya*

Ekisho (Japanese article), review article, 2017. peer-reviewed (Invited paper )

(25)"Photoresponsive smart surface of LC azo-dendrimer: photomanipulation of topological structures and real-time imaging at a nano-scale"

F. Araoka*, A. Eremin, S. Aya, G. Lee, A. Ito, H. Nadasi, N. Sebastian, K. Ishikawa, O. Haba, R. Stannarius, K. Yonetake, and H. Takezoe

Proc. SPIE 10125, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XII, 101250H, 2017, DOI:10.1117/12.2251128. ( Invited paper )

(26) "Anomalous temperature-dependent anchoring in liquid crystals mediated by thermodynamic smectic wetting sheets"

S. Aya*, and F. Araoka*

Appl. Phys. Lett. , 111, 201604-1-4 (2017).

(27) "Multiple Length-scale Characterization and Understanding of Liquid Crystalline Hierarchical Structures Towards Active Manipulation of Liquid Crystalline Structures"

S. Aya*

Ekisho (Japanese article), review article, 2017. peer-reviewed (Memorial special paper )

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