“The Research Center for Structural Thermodynamics” was founded in 2009 to extend valuable thermodynamic studies conducted in its predecessor institutes: the Research Center for Molecular Thermodynamics (1999-2008), the Microcalorimetry Research Center (1989-1999), and the Chemical Thermodynamics Laboratory (1979-1988). The activity of the center focuses on innovation of methodologies in thermodynamic measurements and also on elucidation of functionality of a variety of materials, covering from molecular magnets, molecular conductors, adsorbed monolayers, water solutions, proteins, nucleic acids, and even to living cells. This versatility of scope is the essential consequence of the omnipotence of thermodynamics ruled by energy and entropy, and provides deep understanding of materials especially in combination with modern atomistic knowledge. It is our motto that in order to unveil the nature of materials both microscopic and macroscopic aspects are indispensable, which has a long history extending back to the time of professor emeritus Isamu Nitta of Osaka University who is known as the founder of crystallography in Japan and has the philosophy “crystalline materials should be understood not only from their structure but also from their properties, including their energetic aspect”.
Now the center possesses a lab-made adiabatic calorimeter equipped with a temperature-transfer mechanism minimizing sample amount to sub-gram scale, a commercial relaxation-type calorimeter with a helium-3 cryostat (PPMS), a high-stability thermomonitor targeting biological specimens, a micro-bomb combustion calorimeter enabling determination of standard enthalpies of formation, a differential calorimeter for aqueous solutions to measure higher derivatives of thermodynamic quantities, and other unique instruments and they are in operation not only for our own researches but also wide collaboration all over the world.