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Nanotechnology, Materials and Manufacturing Developing new manufacturing technologies that lead to the use of outstanding materials

Toward the development of revolutionary materials and manufacturing technologies that contribute to green innovation

AIST is contributing to green innovation, the aim of which is to achieve enhanced Japanese competitiveness and a sustainable society by creating materials and devices that play a core role in green innovation with nanotechnology as the key technology, and by revolutionizing manufacturing processes in the fields of nanotechnology, materials, and manufacturing.

Outline of priority strategies

Realization of technologies to reduce CO2 emissions

It is important for the prevention of global warming to reduce CO2 emissions by improving energy use efficiency while maintaining the quality of life. We are conducting research on lightweight alloys used to reduce vehicle weight for improved fuel economy and on technologies for machining these alloys. We are also engaged in the development of building materials such as light-controlling window glass materials and humidity-controlling materials, to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of houses, office buildings, and factories.

Switchable Mirror figre

Switchable Mirror (Mirror State(left), and Transparent State (right) )

Reduction of the use of rare metals and precious metals and development of technologies as alternatives to them, in order to secure and effectively use resources

Rare metals and other exhaustible mineral resources are commonly used in vehicles and home appliances. We are studying technologies to reduce the use of rare and precious metals such as tungsten and platinum, which are essential for leading-edge industries but very unstable in supply, as well as alternative material technologies.

An example of rare metals used in automobiles with low environmental load figre

An example of rare metals used in automobiles with low environmental load

Development of materials and devices that will play a core role in green innovation through nanosystems

An innovative technology evolves with the development of a new material or device that has new functions or features not available in conventional technologies. We are developing materials and components that function at the nano level, using nanosystematization combining a theoretical simulation technique and a nanotechnology experimental technique. Another focus of our research is the development of technologies for the mass-production of single-walled carbon nanotubes expected to be used for the reduction of component weights and the realization of low-powerconsumption devices, and the development of large diamond crystal substrates.

Separation of metallic and semiconducting SWCNTs in a column packed with agarose gel beads figre

Separation of metallic and semiconducting SWCNTs in a column packed with agarose gel beads

Development of technologies to reduce the burden on the environment by innovations in manufacturing

New manufacturing processes are essential to reduce the environmental load of industrial activities without compromising industrial competitiveness. We are developing manufacturing technologies for high-mix, variable-volume production that have a smaller environmental load or take resource productivity into account. In order to improve microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and promote their widespread use, we are developing manufacturing technologies to combine and integrate MEMS devices in different areas and a system to monitor energy consumption at manufacturing sites using MEMS devices.

Microreactor used in the production of hydrogen peroxide at concentrations higher than 10% figre

Microreactor used in the production of hydrogen peroxide at concentrations higher than 10%

New Research Results

Atomic Chain Consisting of Two Types of Atom Aligned Alternately Synthesized for the First Time

AIST has synthesized an ionic crystalline atomic chain of cesium iodine (CsI) by aligning a cesium ion and an iodine ion alternately by encapsulating CsI in the microscopic space inside a carbon nanotube. Furthermore, by using an advanced aberration-corrected electron microscope, the physical phenomena unique to the CsI atomic chain, such as the difference in dynamic behavior of cesium and iodine atoms, have been discovered. In addition, from theoretical calculation using density functional theory, this CsI atomic chain has been found to indicate different optical properties from a three-dimensional CsI crystal, and applications to new optical devices are anticipated.

Model of CsI atomic chain encapsulated inside carbon nanotube figure

Model of CsI atomic chain encapsulated inside carbon nanotube

High-output Heater to Heat Molten Aluminum

AIST and Yamato Co., Ltd. have developed a high-output immersion heater for heating molten aluminum. The developed heater uses a ceramic heater tube with excellent corrosion resistance against molten aluminum, packed to high density with high-thermal-conductivity ceramic filler particles. This structure improves the heat transfer from the heater element to the molten aluminum thereby achieving a quintuple increase in heater output in comparison to a conventional heater. This high output will allow reduction in the number of heaters required for heating molten aluminum and is expected to contribute to the reduction of heater equipment and to energy conservation in the metal casting industry.

Schematic diagram of the high-density packed high-thermal-conductivity ceramic filler particles figure

Schematic diagram of the high-density packed high-thermal-conductivity ceramic filler particles


Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute

Development of manufacturing process technologies offering low cost, high resource productivity, and low environmental burden

We pursue researches under the banner of Minimal Manufacturing, which is the manufacture of "maximal performance products" through "minimal resource input and minimal energy use" with "minimal environmental load". To realize the "Minimal Manufacturing", we carry out fundamental researches on the innovative materials/devices and revolutionary processing technologies. We disseminate the seeds of the fundamental researches into the wide range of industries through the total design approaches of manufacture, including functionality analysis, lifetime prediction, and assessment of environmental burden. In addition, we contribute to the effective resolution of issues from small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises, through developing "Monozukuri tools", such as databases on processing technologies and softwares for introduction of IT that are open to public and widely used in industry.

Image of Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute

Research Base

AIST Chubu, AIST Tsukuba (East, Central)

AIST Participating Technology Research Association

・Advanced Laser and Process Technology Research Association (ALPROT)
・R&D Partnership for Future Power Electronics Technology (FUPET)
・Fine Ceramics Research Association (FCRA)
・Minimal Fab Development Association
・Technology Research Association of Magnetic Materials for High-Efficiency Motors (MagHEM)

Location

2266-98 Anagahora, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560, Japan
Tel: (052) 736-7378 / Fax: (052) 736-7405
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-52-736-7378 / Fax: +81-52-736-7405)
Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute WEB site

Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development

Contributing to the sustainability of industry and society through the development of rare-metal alternatives, less rare-metal-intensive technologies, and advanced lightweight metal components and building components to improve energy efficiency

We are engaged in the research and development of materials and components to facilitate the sustainable development of society using limited natural resources and energy sources. In this work we are focusing on R&D of (1) technologies (rare metal substitute materials technologies, technologies to reduce rare metal consumption) to address the supply of some rare metals (tungsten, platinum, dysprosium, etc.), which will be difficult to secure in the near future due to rapidly increasing demand in developing countries and an oligopoly for the rare metal resources, in order to ensure the sustainable development of industry; (2) lightweight metals to reduce vehicle weight for improved fuel economy (technologies for highperformance magnesium alloys); and (3) energy-efficient building components (light-controlling glass, advanced wood-based materials, humidity-controlling walls, etc.), which will be effective in reducing energy consumption in the commercial/residential sectors.

Image of Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development

Research Base

AIST Chubu

AIST Participating Technology Research Association

・Technology Research Association of Magnetic Materials for High-Efficiency Motors (MagHEM)

Location

2266-98 Anagahora, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560, Japan
Tel: (052) 736-7086 / Fax: (052) 736-7406
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-52-736-7086 / Fax: +81-52-736-7406)
Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development WEB site

Nanosystem Research Institute

Bringing the controlling technology of nanomaterials into the real world

The Nanosystem Research Institute (NRI) is a research institute having nanotechnology and computational science as its both wings. Since its inauguration in 2010, NRI has been developing new functional materials, devices, and systems by the development of nano-particle technologies and the innovation of processes, in close cooperation with theory, computational simulation, and measurement technologies. We have also been developing molecular technologies based on soft materials and new technologies to utilize unharnessed heat. Our guiding principle is "Light, Thin, Safe and Soft" instead of familiar "Light, Thin, Short and Small."

Image of Nanosystem Research Institute

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (Central, East)

AIST Participating Technology Research Association

・Technology Research Association for Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (TASC)
・Chemical Materials Evaluation and Research Base (CEREBA)
・Minimal Fab Development Association
・Technology Research Association of Magnetic Materials for High-Efficiency Motors (MagHEM)

Location

AIST Tsukuba Central 5, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan
Tel : (029) 862-6785 / Fax: (029) 861-6236
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-862-6785 / Fax: +81-29-861-6236)
Nanosystem Research Institute WEB site

Nanotube Research Center

Toward a world-leading research center covering all aspects of nanocarbon materials

We are focusing on nanotube structures as typical nanostructures expected to lead to new industries, and the creation of applications, primarily for carbon and graphene developed by AIST, by adding high functionality to them. Our goal is to contribute to the fostering of new industries in Japan through these efforts. We are also developing measurement and analysis techniques for nanostructures, including nanotube and graphene materials, offering the highest levels of performance, and aim to be a world-leading research center covering all aspects of nanocarbon materials.

Image of Nanotube Research Center

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (Central)

Location

AIST Tsukuba Central 5, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan
Tel: (029) 861-4551 / Fax: (029) 851-5425
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-861-4551 / Fax: +81-29-851-5425)
Nanotube Research Center WEB site

Research Center for Ubiquitous MEMS and Micro Engineering

Toward ubiquitous microsystems watching over people and society

We are engaged in R&D of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) and of ubiquitous microsystems for a low-carbon, safe, and secure society. We are creating an environment for leading-edge MEMS R&D and test-fabrication in collaboration with industry, and developing an open research center for MEMS as well as fostering of human resources. In addition, we are implementing the Integrated Research and Development of Microsystems research project (project leader: Masayoshi Esashi, Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University), one of 30 designated research topics in the Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology.

Image of Research Center for Ubiquitous MEMS and Micro Engineering

Research Base

AIST Tsukuba (East)

AIST Participating Technology Research Association

・NMEMS Technology Research Organization Technology Research Association
・Minimal Fab Development Association

Location

AIST Tsukuba East, 1-2-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan
Tel: (029) 861-7100 / Fax: (029) 861-7225
(from outside Japan: Tel: +81-29-861-7100 / Fax: +81-29-861-7225)
Research Center for Ubiquitous MEMS and Micro Engineering WEB site

Green-Innovative Magnetic Material Research Center

Development of high-performance magnetic materials for green innovation

Permanent magnets and soft magnetic materials are important as the construction materials of high-performance motors for next-generation vehicles and electric appliances, whose production volumes are expected to increase in the near future. Magnetocaloric materials are expected to play a role of new refrigerants in the next-generation magnetic refrigeration, which never uses Freon chemicals. With the aim of development of these magnetic materials that resolve problems of resources, environment and energy, we promote research and development of high-performance magnets with a lower resource risk and of a high-performance magnetic refrigerator.
We are involved in the Future Pioneering Project; Development of magnetic material technology for high-efficiency motors, through the technology research association; MagHEM,

Image of Green-Innovative Magnetic Material Research Center

Research Base

AIST Chubu

AIST Participating Technology Research Association

・Technology Research Association of Magnetic Materials for High-Efficiency Motors

Location

2266-98 Anagahora, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560, Japan
Tel: (052) 736-7680/ Fax:(052) 736-7681
(from outside Japan:+81-52-736-7680 / Fax:+81-52-736-7681)
Green-Innovative Magnetic Material Research Center WEB site


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