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Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is pioneering a new university model in Japan that is truly international and interdisciplinary. More than half of the PIs, researchers, and students are coming from outside Japan and there is no department, making no wall between different fields, including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Neuroscience, Mathematics, Computational Science, Environmental, Ecological and Marine Sciences. OIST is thus committed to interdisciplinary research, and encourages faculty, researchers, and students from diverse fields to share ideas, methods, and experience in collaborative initiatives that break through the restrictive barriers of traditional scientific disciplines. The PhD program commenced in 2012 and the first group of PhD student graduated in 2017.

Organic and Carbon Nanomaterials Unit

The Organic and Carbon Nanomaterials Unit (Narita Unit) at OIST explores syntheses of novel functional organic materials and carbon-based nanomaterials with perfectly defined structures, using the techniques of synthetic chemistry. The Unit aims to elucidate the structure-property relationships of such novel nanomaterials and to explore their applications, ranging from optoelectronics and nanoelectronics to sensing and bioimaging.


Akimitsu Narita

principal Investigator

Akimitsu Narita was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry at the University of Tokyo under the supervision of Professor Eiichi Nakamura. He then joined Professor Klaus Müllen's group at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP) in Mainz, Germany and obtained his doctorate in Chemistry in 2014. In the same year, he became a project leader in the Synthetic Chemistry Department at MPIP. In 2018, he joined OIST as an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) to lead the Organic and Carbon Nanomaterials Unit. He is now working full-time as an Assistant Professor at OIST since 2020.

Xiushang Xu


Xiushang Xu received his bachelor’s degree (2013) in Applied Chemistry from the University of Shandong. He obtained his Ph.D. from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Lixiang Wang in January 2019. His dissertation was on the design, synthesis and optoelectronic properties of novel light-emitting and electron transport materials based on spirobisilafluorenes as building blocks. His current research interest focuses on the bottom-up synthesis of novel nanocarbon materials with atomically-precise structures for optoelectronic devices and bioimaging.

Hao Zhao


Hao Zhao studied chemistry at Shaanxi Normal University (China) and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 2015. Then, he received his PhD in organic chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), in 2020. Since 2021, he starts to work as a postdoctoral scholar at the Organic and Carbon Nanomaterials Unit (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Japan). His current research interest mainly focuses on synthesis of new multifunctional carbon nanomaterials for biosensing, bioimaging and biomedical therapeutics.

Jingyun Tan


Jingyun Tan studied applied chemistry and organic chemistry during his bachelor and master stages, respectively. Then in Jan 2020, he received his doctoral degree from University of Macau with a concentration in biomedical sciences. Organic molecule synthesis is the foundation of his research. Pursuing a suitable application for useful material is always the goal. His studies cover linear and nonlinear optics, chiroptics, bioimaging and sensing. His current research interests focus on the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the exploration of their applications in the optical/biological fields.