Go Home Internal Only Inquiry Site Map
Top Page > About INSTITUTE


Greeting from the Director

Director Xue
Director Xianyu Xue

It is my honor to become the director of the Institute for Planetary Materials (IPM), Okayama University, from April 1, 2018.

The Institute is located in Misasa town, Tottori Prefecture, which is a well-known hot spring resort and about 100 km away from the main campus of Okayama University (in Okayama city). The Institute has a long tradition, originating from the Institute for Thermal Spring Research (1950-1985), which was reorganized into the Institute for Study of the Earth’s Interior (ISEI) as a national collaborative research facility in 1985, and then into the current Institute for Planetary Materials in 2016.

The mission of IPM is to study the origin, evolution and dynamics of the Earth and other planets and the origin of life, and to promoting collaborative research and education in Earth and planetary materials sciences by providing opportunities to access its broad spectrum of unique world-class analytical and experimental facilities to the domestic and international research community.

The institute has long been promoting world-class research in Earth and planetary materials science via both experimental and analytical approaches and have served the need for collaborative research to a large number of researchers from both Japan and worldwide as a national collaborative research facility (1985-2010) and joint-use/joint research center (since 2010).

In the experimental field, the institute has been playing a leading role in applying high-pressure experiments using multi-anvil press to study the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s interior ever since the 1970’s, has contributed greatly to the development of research in this field in Canada, US and Germany. More recently, in addition to technical development in high PT generations, active research is being conducted in the study of structure and properties of deep Earth and planetary materials via high-pressure experiments, various spectroscopic and diffraction measurements (e.g. NMR, Raman, IR, neutral diffraction, etc.) and first-principles calculation.

In the analytical field, the institute was already well known for the development of hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur stable isotope geochemistry in the 1970’s. Subsequent efforts led to the development of a world-class comprehensive analytical system for quantitative analyses of most elements, many isotope systems as well as dating, which makes it possible to obtain rich information from small precious samples such as those from the sample return mission “Hayabusa”. The institute is now preparing for comprehensive analyses of samples to be brought back from the asteroid “Ryugu” in 2020 by the “Hayabusa 2” mission.

Graduate education is also being conducted via a doctoral program within the Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology. The annual Misasa International Student Program, which was started in 2005, has been highly successful. More than 150 students have participated in this program. Some later became graduate student at the Institute, and many are now researchers in major research institutions worldwide.

We will continue to endeavor to serve the need of the Japanese and international community by constantly maintaining and developing the highest level of facilities and expertise, promoting frontier researches in Earth and planetary materials science via independent and collaborative researches. Efforts will also continue to be made to educate the next generation of researchers via graduate education and intern program. We cordially invite you to join us.

Main building

Research building 2