Aida maintained that he chose chemistry as his field of study because it offered less competition to obtain admission to Japanese colleges at the time than other scientific disciplines (he described himself as "lazy"). As a graduate student, his main extracurricular activity was mountain climbing.
Achievements and honors
Aida has published 210 research papers and holds 66 patents (December 2008). His achievements include light-harvesting dendrimers, such as the first dendritic macromolecule to encapsulate a dye unit, and cancer-therapy molecules. His group worked for over two years to develop a catalytic procedure for polymerizing ethylene. Their procedure is accomplished in one continuous reaction. His group performed the first successful formation of conductive self-assembled graphite nanotubes. He has constructed a molecular-scale snipping apparatus, used to hold molecules and modify their chemical arrangement.
In 2009 Aida received the American Chemical Society's award in Polymer Chemistry.
Chemical & Engineering News, 19 January 2009, "2009 ACS National Award Winners", p. 72