Aim and scope:

NIMS Conference 2014 focuses on “soft materials” contributing to the fields of
environment and energy.
Soft materials –plastic, liquid crystals, gels, rubber, and so forth– are important classes
of materials to support modern society as with hard materials, such as metals and ceramics;
plastics are key soft materials useful for clothes, vehicles, and houses, and liquid crystals
have become the most popular material for displays. In addition, medical contact lenses and
seismic isolation rubber, which attracted a lot of attention after the earthquake, are also important soft materials. In the field of electronics and information technology, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and fiber optics depend upon organic and polymeric materials, and research projects on these materials are underway in Japan. In the future, soft materials will become indispensable materials for us.
The field of soft materials straddles the boundaries of many disciplines of materials science, chemistry, physics, and biology; this includes synthesis of new organic molecules and polymers, control of assembled structures, building of principles and theories, evaluation of optical, electronic, and mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and so forth. NIMS has recognized the importance of soft materials in the 21st century and pursued research projects for such materials in cooperation with researchers from different fields.
Societal needs and demand for soft materials, however, are expanding rapidly. Lightweight and multicolor organic light-emitting materials are required for application in wearable display devices. In an aging society, implant materials made by fusion of hard materials with gel materials are essential to improve their biocompatibility and durability. Air and river pollution in Asian countries needs the development of environmental protection materials, such as high-performance filter and water treatment membrane, which are all dependent on new developments in soft matter.
In order to discuss these key issues, NIMS will organize the “NIMS Conference 2014” entitled “A Strong Future from Soft Materials” from July 1st to 3rd, 2014 in Tsukuba. This conference covers state-of-the-art organic and polymeric materials, optoelectronic functions of soft materials, interfaces comprised of biomaterials, and those contributing to the environment- and energy-related fields.
We hope this conference will provide new insight and ideas in materials science based on organic and polymeric materials.