Technology in Society, for Society

New Research Results

Thermoelectric module 05/20/2016

Development of an 11 % Conversion Efficiency Thermoelectric Module
–Achieved with thermoelectric materials having controlled nano-sized structures, a big step toward the realization of power generation using waste heat –

AIST has developed a thermoelectric module with conversion efficiency of 11%. Until now, it has been difficult to exceed a thermoelectric figure of merit ZT = 1.0 in thermoelectric materials, or 7 % conversion efficiency in thermoelectric modules. In the present research, the researchers have achieved ZT = 1.8 by forming magnesium telluride (MgTe) nanostructures in a sintered compact of lead telluride (PbTe)-based thermoelectric material. Furthermore, they have developed an electrode material that contacts relatively well electrically and thermally with the PbTe sintered compact containing the MgTe nanostructures, achieving a conversion efficiency of 11 % in the thermoelectric module.


Intracellular visualization 06/28/2016

Development of a Technology for Intracellular Visualization of the Protein that Could Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
–Contribution to the elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms and the screening for candidate molecules of therapeutic drugs–

AIST has developed a technology to visualize the molecular dynamics of amyloid β (Aβ) protein, one of the causative factors of Alzheimer’s disease, in live neurons or in vivo, in collaboration with Hokkaido University and Juntendo University. The GFP fluorescence from a fusion protein of Aβ and a fluorescent protein GFP (Aβ-GFP) is thought to be inhibited upon Aβ aggregation, and it is difficult to visualize the localization or dynamics of Aβ. The researchers modified the amino acid sequence (the linker) between Aβ and GFP, and developed a fusion protein that maintains GFP fluorescence regardless of the Aβ aggregation status. The developed Aβ-GFP enables intracellular visualization of Aβ.


Lyrics animations 01/25/2016

Publication of a Service That Allows Easy Production and Sharing of Videos with Lyrics Animated in Synchrony with Music- Anyone can enjoy creating lyrics animation that matches their style with “TextAlive” –

AIST has developed the lyrics animation production support service “TextAlive” (http://textalive.jp/?lang=en) which enables users to animate lyrics in time with music, using song and lyrics contents published on the web. By choosing a song and specifying the video’s style, users can quickly produce lyrics animations with various effects. In addition, users can choose “templates” of visual effects for each word or character with an intuitive interface. Furthermore, users can program templates and their parameter tuning interfaces, then share the templates with other users on TextAlive. Using TextAlive, thus, allows people to demonstrate their creativity and enjoy lyrics animation production without an enormous effort.


CNT mass production 05/24/2015

World’s First Super-Growth Carbon Nanotube Mass Production Plant Opens
– Zeon Corporation begins mass production –

Based on the achievements of a NEDO project, Zeon Corporation (ZEON) has completed and begun operation of the world’s first mass production plant for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using the Super-growth (SG) method developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The SG method enables high speed, large quantity synthesis, and CNTs made with the SG method have high aspect ratio, high purity, and large surface area compared with conventional CNTs. They bear high expectations for application. Increasing demand is expected, as they can be applied to innovative materials and devices. ZEON began mass production in November, 2015.


Microwave oscillator 06/16/2016

Frequency Stabilization of Magnetic Tunnel Junction Based Microwave Oscillator
– Major step toward the practical use of spin torque oscillators –

AIST has developed a phase locked loop (PLL) circuit designed to stabilize the oscillation frequency of a spin torque oscillator (STO), and demonstrated generation of a highly coherent microwave signal from the STO. The STO is a nanometer-scale magnetoresistive device that generates a microwave signal by applying a DC voltage. The 7.344 GHz microwave signal generated by the STO was phase locked to a 153 MHz reference signal by the developed PLL circuit, resulting in an extremely narrow spectral linewidth of below the measurement limit (1 Hz). This accomplishment is expected to accelerate the progress toward the practical use of STOs as a voltage controlled oscillator.


Geological Survey of Japan 04/01/2015

Understanding and living with the Earth

Geological information is essential for a country like Japan, located at a tectonically active area, to ensure a safe and secure society. The Geological Survey of Japan gathers, compiles, and provides geological information and promotes its wider use. We also develop technologies to overcome various difficulties related to global environment protection, exploration of minerals and energy resources, and natural disaster mitigation, and coordinate international cooperation as a national representative.


Gas barrier standard 08/09/2016

Development of Standard Gas Barrier Films to Evaluate Ultrahigh Gas Barrier Properties - Contributing to a long lifetime of organic electroluminescence devices -

AIST developed standard gas barrier films (SGB films). The SGB films were fabricated by directly attaching the clay-based gas barrier film “Claist®-SN” to a stainless steel sheet with an open hole by hot pressing. Three types of SGB films in the range of water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) from 10-4 g m-2 day-1 to 10-6 g m-2 day-1 at the condition of 40 ℃ and 90 % R.H. were prepared. These values are one thousand times less than those of conventional ones. The calibration of WVTR measuring devices by using these SGB films contributes the reliable evaluation of ultrahigh barrier films for organic electroluminescence devices and organic photovoltaics cells.


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