Department of Materials and Chemistry

Contributing to industrial competitiveness enhancement by synergistic interaction between materials and chemical technologies

We are developing technologies to enhance added value of functional chemicals, and to realize practical use of new materials, with strengthening value chains of materials through synergistic interaction between materials and chemical technologies in mind. Thus, we are aiming to contribute to the primary materials and chemical industries.


New Research Results

Real Time Visualization with a Simple Device of Brown Adipose Tissues That Burn Fat

AIST has developed a near-infrared fluorescent imaging method. Single walled carbon nanotubes coated with the biocompatible dispersant PMB (PMB-SWCNTs) preferentially deposited in brown adipose tissues (BATs) when they were injected intravenously in mice. Irradiating the entire body of the mouse with an LED and imaging with near-infrared fluorescent light from the PMB-SWCNTs made it possible to image BATs. The developed method is highly sensitive and can clearly image with a small amount of PMB-SWCNTs, which reduces the burden on a living body. This method will contribute to research on prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.


Schematic drawing of deposition of PMB- SWCNTs on a BAT (left) and the imaging of the BAT of a mouse (right)

Thermoelectric Generator Capable of Generating Power at Any Time in the Range of 200°C to 800°C

AIST has developed a practical air-cooled thermoelectric generator. Technology that refines the control of the sintering process under pressure was developed to improve the power factor of the thermoelectric element by two-fold. Decrease in the cross-sectional areas of each element was found to be effective to reduce the internal resistance of the module by 20 %. Thus, total power generation output was increased 2.2 times. By using an improved heat pipe system, the decrease in temperature difference was reduced, and power generation output equivalent to 80 % of a water-cooled thermoelectric generator was achieved.


Developed portable air-cooled thermoelectric generator and thermoelectric module

Open Innovation Laboratory

Since FY 2016, as a part of the “Open Innovation Arena concept” promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), AIST has created the concept of “open innovation laboratories” (OILs), collaborative research bases located on university campuses, and has been engaged in their provision. We are planning to establish more than ten OILs by FY 2020.

AIST will merge the basic research carried out at universities, etc. with AISTʼs goal-oriented basic research and applied technology development, and will promote bridging research and evelopment and industry by the establishment of OILs.

Cooperative Research Laboratories

In order to conduct research and development more closely related to strategies of companies, we have established collaborative research laboratories, bearing partner company names.

Partner companies provide their researchers and funding, and AIST provides research resources, such as its researchers, research facilities, and intellectual property. The loaned researchers of companies and AIST researchers jointly conduct research and development.

By setting up cooperative research laboratories, we will accelerate the commercialization of our goal-oriented basic research and application research with partner companies.

  • Zeon – AIST Nanotube Industrialization Cooperative Research Laboratory
  • NGK SPARK PLUG – AIST Healthcare・Materials Cooperative Research Laboratory

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