Humboldt Research Award for
Professor Kazushi Kanoda

December 14, 2023

Professor Kazushi Kanoda was granted the prestigious Humboldt Research Award. The topic of his academic project is “Frustration-driven quantum phase transitions”. Professor Kanoda plans to extend his collaboration with Professor Takagi’s department “Quantum Materials” at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF) in Stuttgart and Professor Dressel’s department at the University of Stuttgart to tackle this challenging issue.



Professor Kazushi Kanoda graduated with his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Kyoto University in 1987. He worked at the Department of Physics at Gakushuin University as a research associate, and Institute for Molecular Science as an associate professor from 1991, and has been a professor at the Department of Applied Physics, at the University of Tokyo since 1999.


Awards and honors

  • IBM Japan Prize, 1998
  • Japanese Physical Society Award for Academic Papers on Physics, 2006
  • Outstanding referee, Journal of the Physical Society of Japan, 2018
  • Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, 2019
  • Nishina Memorial Prize, Japan, 2020


Research interest

Professor Kanoda has been interested in strong repulsive interaction between electrons in solids because it gives rise to peculiar correlations among electrons and occasionally causes exotic states beyond conventional metals, superconductors, and insulators. Organic conductors host such strongly correlated electrons. He has long investigated various correlation-induced phenomena in a range of organic materials. His achievements include the discovery of the quantum criticality of the Mott transition, the discovery of a quantum spin liquid candidate, the NMR evidence of d-wave superconductivity and FFLO state, the discovery of charge glass, the demonstration of velocity renormalization and excitonic instability in a strongly correlated Dirac electron system, and the verification of mobile topological excitations in quasi-one-dimensional electronic ferroelectrics.


Research plan in association with the AvH Research Award

An important but still enigmatic issue in condensed matter physics is whether an exotic spin state called the quantum spin liquid (QSL), which is free from magnetic ordering even at absolute zero, exists in real materials and, if any, what is its microscopic nature. Professor Kanoda plans to extend his collaboration with Professor Takagi’s group at MPI and Professor Dressel’s group at the University of Stuttgart to tackle this challenging issue. The collaborative team focuses particularly on organic materials with triangular lattices, which are key structures that possibly host QSL. At MPI-FKF, thermodynamic, magnetic, and transport experiments are planned to be performed in particular at high fields and low temperatures. At Universität Stuttgart, the team conducts optical and magnetic-resonance experiments. With this collaboration at Stuttgart, Professor Kanoda aims to clarify the yet elusive ground-state nature of the existing QSL candidates and search for novel types of QSLs and novel phases emerging from QSL.


Key publications

  • Y. Shimizu, K. Miyagawa, K. Kanoda, M. Maesato, G. Saito
    Spin liquid state in an organic Mott insulator with a triangular lattice
    Physical Reciew Letters 91, 107001 (2003)
    This paper reports the experimental indication of the quantum spin liquid nature in real materials
  • F. Kagawa, K. Miyagawa, K. Kanoda
    Unconventional critical behavior in a quasi-two-dimensional organic conductor
    Nature 436, 534-537 (2005)
    This paper reports the observation of the thermodynamic critical behavior of the Mott metal-insulator transition in two dimensions
  • Y. Zhou, K. Kanoda, T. K. Ng
    Quantum Spin Liquid States
    Reviews of Modern Physics 89, 025003 (2017)
    This is a review article on quantum spin liquid research through 2017
  • T. Sato, K. Miyagawa, K. Kanoda
    Electronic crystal growth
    Science 357, 1378-1381 (2017)
    This paper reports the observation of electronic crystal growth
  • M. Hirata, K. Ishikawa, G. Matsuno, A. Kobayashi, K. Miyagawa, M. Tamura, C. Berthier, K. Kanoda
    Anomalous spin correlations and excitonic instability of interacting 2D Weyl fermions
    Science 358, 1403-1406 (2017)
    This paper reports the discovery of excitonic instability of the Dirac electrons




Humboldt Research Award
Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards to internationally renowned academics from abroad in recognition of their entire academic record to date.

In addition, award winners are invited to conduct a research project of their own choosing in Germany in close collaboration with a specialist colleague. The project duration of six to twelve months may be divided into segments.

Academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and beyond and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge academic achievements in future are eligible to be nominated for the award.

Go to Editor View