ICYS Administrative Office

International Center for Young Scientists
National Institute for Materials Science

Sengen 1-2-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, Japan

Research Life at ICYS

Lingying Li


My scientific career filled with joy and excitement

I have been fortunate to experience a research environment at ICYS that fosters creativity, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity. It is my great honor to provide insights into the research life at ICYS and share my own experiences.

Firstly, the decision to pursue research at ICYS was an easy one for me. When I was a graduate student, I was highly impressed by the exceptional achievements of ICYS Research Fellows. Their advanced studies, groundbreaking papers, exciting presentation, and outstanding awards left a deep impression on me. I aspired to be part of this extraordinary community and saw ICYS as a gathering place for young talented scientists. Furthermore, the favorable conditions offered by ICYS, such as research freedom, superior funding, an enthusiastic research atmosphere, mentoring from top-class researchers, and reliable administrative support, further solidified my resolve to start my scientific career at ICYS.

My research focus at ICYS revolves around the development of soft electronics through directed self-assembly technology. This field offers exciting possibilities for constructing sustainable manufacturing platforms and industrializing soft devices. Although the results are not always ideal, my research life is filled with the joy and excitement. Discovering new patterning phenomena with unforeseen mechanisms is a source of immense joy. Transforming unique phenomena into controllable patterning technology that align dispersed materials into regular structures brings a sense of triumph. Applying patterned structures to practical applications in fields such as electronics and healthcare brings a deep sense of joy and purpose to my work. Though summarizing the results into captivating publications poses a challenge, it further deepens the feeling of accomplishment.

In addition to my own research, what makes ICYS truly enjoyable is the privilege of working alongside leading researchers and experts from diverse scientific disciplines. The center promotes a culture of interdisciplinarity, independence, and innovation, providing abundant opportunities (e.g., bi-weekly ICYS seminar, ICYS workshop, etc.) to expand research horizons and foster interactive collaboration. Moreover, ICYS offers comprehensive access to state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge equipment, and valuable resources, enabling researchers to conduct high-quality studies and push the boundaries of knowledge in their respective fields.

Finally, I want to wholeheartedly say to those who are interested in research at ICYS that if you possess a passion for scientific exploration, confidence in the potential of your research, and a desire to make a meaningful impact, ICYS is the place to be and please embrace this unique opportunity. Join us in this “melting pot” and embark on an enriching research journey surrounded by inspiring fellows and experiences. Together, let us ignite innovation, challenge impossibility, and making a lasting impact on the world.



Deep understanding and discovery of research
- Exciting and fun research life at ICYS -

During my time as a postdoc at NIMS, I found that several ICYS Research Fellows were working in the center. I realized that we have another option to work in NIMS in addition to being a permanent staff or a postdoc, and decided to pursue research at ICYS. It was attractive for me that we can manage our research based on our own interests while utilizing the research facilities at NIMS.

My research focuses on the ultrafast spin dynamics in magnetic thin films, ranging from sub-picoseconds to nanoseconds, using an ultrafast pulsed laser system. We can excite and control spin dynamics on the picosecond timescale. Therefore, by effectively utilizing magnetic materials, it is possible to realize devices that operate on an ultrafast timescale. However, conventional electrical measurement techniques are not feasible for measuring such ultrafast dynamics, making time-resolved spectroscopy using ultrafast pulsed laser system essential. Moreover, for practical materials such as permanent magnets and magnetic recording media, where magnetization dynamics occur on the picosecond timescale, this technique can be used to elucidate the material properties and contribute to material development. I am conducting fundamental research aimed at achieving ultrafast operating devices that cannot be realized with existing technologies, as well as studying the fundamental properties of already-utilized materials.

My research requires various experimental setups for fabricating thin films and measuring optical, magnetic, and electrical properties. In this regard, the research environment at NIMS is highly attractive. I utilize the following NIMS facilities: an ultra-high vacuum sputtering system, microfabrication equipment, an ultrafast pulsed laser system, PPMS, SQUID, XRD, VSM, MOKE measurement setups, and TEM.

Having access to a wide range of equipment allows me to encounter new discoveries, and these experiences are exciting for me. At ICYS, there are opportunities to attend seminars learning about the latest research trends in diverse fields from other ICYS Research Fellows. The topics in this seminar give me fresh inspiration. Through presentations of research from different fields, I find it stimulating and enjoyable to gain new insights and deepen my understanding based on that knowledge.

We can conduct a diverse range of experiments at NIMS using remarkable facilities by collaborating with NIMS researchers. Information about NIMS researchers can be searched through a website called "SAMURAI". If you are interested in working at ICYS, what do you think about conducting a quick search using keywords related to your own research and considering a research plan that utilizes the NIMS facilities?