Research Center of Solar Energy Chemistry was founded in 2001 as an Inter-University Research Institute of Osaka University by reorganizing the institute originally founded in 1981 as Laboratory for Chemical Conversion of Solar Energy.  At the entrance of the building of Research Center, a message from Late Prof. M. Calvin is exhibited, which was given to Late Prof. Tsubomura, who was the director of the Laboratory, when the Laboratory was founded.  The message reads: A step toward the peace of the world. Prof. Calvin is a winner of Nobel Prize (1961) for his work on the mechanism of carbon fixation by green plants (photosynthesis).  Afterwards, he believed in the importance of utilization of solar energy and he started research activities on energy conversion of solar energy by “artificial photosynthesis”.   Prof. Tsubomura was very much impressed by the lecture given by Prof. Calvin at an international conference in Germany in1972.  Soon after coming back to Japan, he also started the studies on artificial photosynthesis in his ground and later in the above-mentioned Laboratory.  The notable achievements of the studies include high-efficiency photoelectrochemical solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, and high-efficiency photocatalytic hydrogen production.


 The Research Center inherits the sense of mission from the Laboratory and now studying solar cells which are fabricated by low-cost chemical processes, high-efficiency photocatalysts, and some new research subjects relating to interactions between light and matter, which include chemical conversion of materials and methods for analyzing ions included in solution at very low concentrations using light energy.  


 The mission of the Research Center becomes more important as the issues of energy resources and environment are now recognized more seriously.  There are laboratories in Osaka University which are actively working on various kinds of solar cells and fundamental studies on photochemistry and photophysics.  In addition, there are leading industrial companies manufacturing solar cells in Osaka and surrounding prefectures.  We sincerely wish to contribute to “the peace of the world” through our research activities which we would like to carry out in cooperation with many researchers and organizations within and outside Osaka University.


Director: Prof. Hiroshi Miyasaka