“Academic Fantasista”, a lecture for high school students held at ICReDD.

On Friday, December 22nd 2023, 15 students from HOKKAI high school visited ICReDD and attended a lecture and a facility tour through “Academic Fantasista 2023”, in which Yu Harabuchi, Specially Appointed Associate Professor of ICReDD is participating.

Academic Fantasista is a project which Hokkaido University has been implementing since 2012, with the collaboration of The Hokkaido Shimbun Press, to convey cutting-edge knowledge to high school students through on-site lectures and field experiences.


Assoc. Prof. Harabuchi is participating in this project with the theme “Chemical Space Exploration by Robot and Computer”.

Right center of photo: supercomputer Fugaku (Courtesy of RIKEN)

In the lecture, the overview of the research at ICReDD for the new chemical reaction discoveries guided by theory and calculation was given to the students. Also, they tried exercises on chemical reaction path network analyses toward understanding the mechanism of unknown chemical reactions.


After the lecture, Yuuya Nagata, Specially Appointed Associate Professor, who conducts collaborative research with Assoc. Prof. Harabuchi, introduced how an automated chemical synthesis system (synthesis robot) can be useful for researchers in the field of organic chemistry to obtain desired chemical products efficiently and quickly. Then the students were guided to the lab tour to see how the synthesis robot works.

For this tour, the robot performed a synthesis using the “Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling”, a reaction that Akira Suzuki, University Professor and Professor Emeritus of Hokkaido University won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The synthesis robot quietly and steadily drips the liquid to create a solution.
When a black light illuminated the two clear solutions, each solution changed color to fluorescent yellow and fluorescent blue, respectively!


*The application for lecture must be made by high school. Please visit here for more information (Japanese only).