The group develops new functional lignin materials to contribute to sustainable industry and society. We also carry out fundamental research on structure, properties, and performance of these materials in diverse applications.
Lignin is not only the most abundant natural aromatic polymer but also nature's wonder material that allows plants to have strong and biochemically resistant structures. We are motivated by its compelling structural complexity and natural functionality in plants. Some examples of the materials that we are working on include lignin nanoparticles, nanocomposites, inorganic-organic hybrid materials, and lignin-polymer networks. All of these are promising candidates for applications such as in coatings, membranes, and circular materials. We employ green chemistry principles and structural characterization of the new high-performance lignin materials from molecular to macroscopic levels to elucidate their structure-function relationship.