This laboratory conducts research in materials, fundamentally at the nanometer level with material such as carbon nanotubes. The aim is to create nano-materials and study their applications. The photograph shows a large thin membrane made of single-layer carbon nanotubes, with what looks like a lace curtain surrounding an electrode standing in the center.
Photonic Device Laboratory
Research is conducted on white LEDs, a next-generation lighting source set to contribute to energy savings on a global scale. The laboratory creates world-leading lighting devices powered by state-of-the-art technologies such as fluorescent substrates, epitaxially grown semiconductors, and nano-structure processes. Students are able to conduct some of the world’s most advanced LED research in the highest quality research environment. The photograph shows an incandescent-color LED.
Electronic Devices Laboratory
This laboratory realizes extremely highly functional devices through process technologies and new crystal growth methods for group III nitride semiconductors. In particular, it aims to create devices that make major contributions to society: for example, ultra-efficient blue, green, white, and ultraviolet LEDs; solar cells; semiconductor lasers; and ultraviolet photodetectors. It also pioneers new academic domains by using nano-structures.
This laboratory conducts research on opto-electronic integrated circuits (OEICs), a key element to future computers and artificial intelligence. OEICs will make possible a host of inventions such as simultaneous interpretation systems and robots that can think on their own. To this end, new semiconductor materials are being developed through material fusion, improvement of quality, and creation of nano-electronics. The photograph shows a device for making OEICs inside an ultra-high vacuum.
Crystal Growth Laboratory
High-quality, flaw-free crystals are crucial to high-performance elements. This laboratory uses a variety of methods to grow crystals for semiconductors and carbon nanotubes. Of particular note is the process of growing crystals while observing each atom. The photograph shows an atomic image of the front edge of a carbon nanotube observed with a tunnel microscope.
Surface Properties Laboratory
In a vacuum that is trillions of times lower than atmospheric pressure, research is conducted on unique physical phenomena on substance surfaces. This laboratory uses natural principles in forming and observing atomic structures and then developing unique properties. The photograph shows an atomic model of a tungsten needle tip. The needle is used to make material that emits an electron beam a million times brighter than the sun.
Composite Materials Laboratory
Bio-plastic, made from recyclable biomass, holds great promise as a substitute for petroleum-based plastics. Bio-plastic is a key focus in this laboratory; recently it has been developing highly functional composite materials by fusing bio-plastic with nano-carbon materials. The photograph shows a molding machine and viscometer.
Surface Modification Laboratory
Surface modification is a method for giving a material’s surface a special finish so that its surface layer is completely different from the interior. It is one of the most important processing technologies in the field of machinery materials. This laboratory develops a technology for projecting minute particles onto a surface at high speed (micro-shot peening) in order to create a smooth sliding surface that has almost no friction.
Leading-Edge Metallic Materials Laboratory
Highly anti-corrosive and high-specific strength titanium is gaining significant attention for aircraft materials and bio-materials. Using thermomechanical treatment, this laboratory conducts R&D into microscopic-structure-controlled titanium alloys. The aim is to improve the dynamic functions (tensile characteristics, fatigue and anti-abrasion properties, etc.). The photograph shows the dissolution of a titanium alloy using levitation melting.
Biomaterials are raw materials for medical devices that are implanted temporarily or permanently into the human body when performing a functional reconstruction as part of the treatment of a disease or injury. Examples of such medical devices include artificial joints and fracture fixation devices. Biomaterials must exhibit sufficient mechanical strength, chemical stability, and long-term reliability, and they must be compatible with—or at least tolerable to—the human body. In collaboration with other institutions in the medical field, this laboratory has worked to develop biomaterials and perform related research in areas such as the evaluation of mechanical properties and biocompatibility. The photograph shows a new material being implanted into the lateral condyle of a rabbit femur to test for biocompatibility.