It is the third oldest Imperial University in Japan and is a member of the National Seven Universities. It is considered as one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, and one of the top fifty universities in the world.
In 2009, Tohoku University had ten colleges within the university, including fifteen departments with graduate students, with a total enrollment of 17,949 students. The university’s three core values are “Research First (研究第一主義),” “Open-Door (門戸開放),” and “Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重).”
Tohoku is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Tohoku is the 4th best research university in Japan. Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Materials Science (1st in Japan, 3rd in the world), Physics (2nd in Japan, 10th in the world), Pharmacology & Toxicology (3rd in Japan, 64th in the world) and Chemistry (6th in Japan, 20th in the world).
Weekly Diamond also reported that Tohoku has the 11th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in COE Program. In the same article, it’s also ranked 9th in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.
Tohoku University research articles from Innovation Toronto
- A robot microscope system that automatically tracks a freely moving small animal and manipulates its brain activity with projection mapping – June 11, 2016
- New type of graphene-based transistor will increase the clock speed of processors by orders of magnitude – May 21, 2016
- For Solid-State Rechargeable Batteries That Crush the Competition, Crush This Material – April 3, 2016
- A new-structure magnetic memory device developed – March 24, 2016
- No More Finger Pricks: Invasive Measurement of Blood Glucose No Longer Necessary – February 5, 2016
- Joint Japanese Research Reveal New Breakthrough for Spintronics – January 15, 2014
- Cheap, ultra low-power light source runs on just 0.1 Watts – October 23, 2014
- Beyond LEDs: Brighter, New Energy -Saving Flat Panel Lights Based on Carbon Nanotubes – October 14, 2014
- Pairing old technologies with new for next generation electronic devices – August 14, 2014
- Cheaper, Quieter and Fuel-Efficient Biplanes Could Put Supersonic Travel On the Horizon
- Robots can now walk on beaches, because why the hell not?
- Chameleon Magnets: Ability to Switch Magnets ‘On’ or ‘Off’ Could Revolutionize Computing
- Spin Battery: Physicist Develops Battery Using New Source Of Energy
Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a super flexible liquid crystal (LC) device, in which two ultra-thin plastic substrates are firmly bonded by polymer wall spacers.
The team, led by Professor Hideo Fujikake and Associate Professor Takahiro Ishinabe of the School of Engineering, hopes the new organic materials will help make electronic displays and devices more flexible, increasing their portability and all round versatility. New usage concepts with flexibility and high quality display could offer endless possibilities in near-future information services.
Previous attempts to create a flexible display using an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) device with a thin plastic substrate were said to be promising, but unstable. The plastic substrates are poor gas-barriers for oxygen and water vapor, and the OLED materials can seriously be damaged by their gasses. As for flexible OLEDs, there has also been no device fabrication technology established so far for large-area, high-resolution and low-cost displays.
To overcome these challenges, Fujikake’s research team decided to try making existing LC displays flexible by replacing the conventional thick glass substrates, which are both rigid and heavy, with the plastic substrates, because LC materials do not deteriorate even for poor gas barrier of flexible substrates.
Flexible LC displays have many advantages, such as established production methods for large-area displays. The material itself, which is inexpensive, can be mass produced and shows little quality degradation over time.
However, in conventional flexible LC displays, one important problem remains. The gap of plastic substrates (100 ?m thick) sandwiching an LC layer becomes non-uniformed when the LC device is bent, causing the display image to be distorted.
In their study, Fujikake’s team developed a super-flexible LC device by bonding two ultra-thin transparent polyimide substrates (10 ?m thick approximately) together, using robust polymer wall spacers.
|The structure of super-flexible LC device is created by ultra-thin plastic substrates bonded by polymer wall spacers.|
The ultra-thin transparent substrate is made using the coating and debonding processes of a polyimide solution supplied by Mitsui Chemicals. The result is a flexible sheet, similar to food-wrapping cling film.
|The ultra-thin polyimide film (left) was formed by coating and debonding processes, and the roll-up resistance (right) was tested for developing super-flexible LC devices.|
The substrate has the attractive features of heat resistance, and the ability to form fine pixel structures, including transparent electrodes and colour filters. The refractive index anisotropy is extremely small, making wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio possible.
The polymer wall spacers bonding substrates are formed by irradiating a twisted-alignment LC layer including monomer component with patterned ultra-violet light through single thin substrate. While the substrate gap is more variable as the substrate thickness is decreased, the stabilization of ultra-thin substrates becomes possible by small pitch polymer walls.
The research team also demonstrated that the device uniformity is kept without breaking spacers even after a roll-up test to a curvature radius of 3mm for rollable and foldable applications.
The above research results show that LC displays with large-area, high-resolution and excellent stability can be as flexible as OLED displays. The super-flexible LC technology is applicable to mobile information terminals, wearable devices, in-vehicle displays and large digital signage.
Moving forward, the team plans to form image pixels and soften the peripheral components of polarizing films, and a thin light-guide sheet for backlight.
Researchers at Tohoku University and NEC Corporation have discovered a new technique for compressing the computations of encryption and decryption operations known as Galois field arithmetic operations.
The group, from the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, has thus succeeded in developing the world’s most efficient Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cryptographic processing circuit, whose energy consumption is reduced by more than 50% of the current level.
With this achievement, it has become possible to include encryption technology in information and communication technology (ICT) devices that have tight energy constraints, greatly enhancing the safety of the next-generation Internet of Things (IoT).
This result was announced on August 19, 2016 during the Conference on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES 2016) hosted by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) in Santa Barbara, USA.
The research group of Professor Hideo Ohno and Associate Professor Shunsuke Fukami of Tohoku University has demonstrated the sub-nanosecond operation of a nonvolatile magnetic memory device.
Recently, the concept of “Internet of Things” (IoT) – a giant network of connected devices, people and things – has been attracting a great deal of attention. Although its range of application is limited at this stage, it is expected that in the near future, IoT will be widely applied and will play important roles in fields such as security, automated driving, social infrastructure and disability aid.
An integrated circuit, or microcontroller unit, is the brain in the IoT society, where information is acquired, processed, and transmitted. Thus, development of device technologies to make integrated circuits ultralow-power and high-performance, or high-speed, is of great importance for the progress of the IoT society.
In terms of low-power, the use of nonvolatile memories is known to be effective.
On the other hand, in terms of high-performance, it has been difficult for the nonvolatile memories which are both currently available (commercialized) and under development (not commercialized yet) to achieve the speed comparable to the one realized with currently-used volatile static random access memories.
The research group at Tohoku University had previously announced that they had developed a new-structure nonvolatile magnetic memory device. The device has a three-terminal configuration, which is different from the two-terminal magnetic memory device that is just about to hit the market.
A thermoelectric (TE) device*1 using cutting edge thermoelectric conversion technology has been created by a team comprising NEC Corporation, NEC TOKIN Corporation and Tohoku University.
The new technology, known as the spin Seebeck effect *2, has conversion efficiency 10 times higher than the conventional method *3.
Thermoelectric conversion technology that converts energy abandoned as waste heat back to electric power could potentially save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although conventional spin Seebeck thermoelectric devices have the advantage of low manufacturing costs and high versatility and durability, their energy conversion efficiency is inferior.
“We have improved the conversion efficiency of this spin Seebeck thermoelectric device by more than 10 times because of its newly developed material and device structure,” says Soichi Tsumura, General Manager, IoT Device Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation. “Furthermore, devices made of flexible material, such as resin, have been achieved using a manufacturing process that does not require high-temperature heat treatment.”
Scientists have developed a new type of graphene-based transistor and using modeling they have demonstrated that it has ultralow power consumption compared with other similar transistor devices
Scientists have developed a new type of graphene-based transistor and using modelling they have demonstrated that it has ultralow power consumption compared with other similar transistor devices. The findings have been published in a paper in the journal Scientific Reports. The most important effect of reducing power consumption is that it enables the clock speed of processors to be increased. According to calculations, the increase could be as high as two orders of magnitude.
“The point is not so much about saving electricity – we have plenty of electrical energy. At a lower power, electronic components heat up less, and that means that they are able to operate at a higher clock speed – not one gigahertz, but ten for example, or even one hundred,” says the corresponding author of the study, the head of MIPT’s Laboratory of Optoelectronics and Two-Dimensional Materials, Dmitry Svintsov.
By chemically modifying and pulverizing a promising group of compounds, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have potentially brought safer, solid-state rechargeable batteries two steps closer to reality.
These compounds are stable solid materials that would not pose the risks of leaking or catching fire typical of traditional liquid battery ingredients and are made from commonly available substances.
Since discovering their properties in 2014, a team led by NIST scientists has sought to enhance the compounds’ performance further in two key ways: Increasing their current-carrying capacity and ensuring that they can operate in a sufficiently wide temperature range to be useful in real-world environments.
Considerable advances have now been made on both fronts, according to Terrence Udovic of the NIST Center for Neutron Research, whose team has published a pair of scientific papers that detail each improvement.
The first advance came when the team found that the original compounds — made primarily of hydrogen, boron and either lithium or sodium — were even better at carrying current with a slight change to their chemical makeup. Replacing one of the boron atoms with carbon improved their ability to conduct charged particles, or ions, which are what carry electricity inside a battery. As the team reported in February in their first paper, the switch made the compounds about 10 times better at conducting.
But perhaps more important was clearing the temperature hurdle. The compounds conducted ions well enough to operate in a battery — as long as it was in an environment typically hotter than boiling water. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a market for such high-temperature batteries, and by the time they cooled to room temperature, the materials’ favorable chemical structure often changed to a less conductive form, decreasing their performance substantially.
One solution turned out to be crushing the compounds’ particles into a fine powder. The team had been exploring particles that are measured in micrometers, but as nanotechnology research has demonstrated time and again, the properties of a material can change dramatically at the nanoscale. The team found that pulverizing the compounds into nanometer-scale particles resulted in materials that could still perform well at room temperature and far below.
“This approach can remove worries about whether batteries incorporating these types of materials will perform as expected even on the coldest winter day,” said Udovic, whose collaborators on the most recent paper include scientists from Japan’s Tohoku University, the University of Maryland and Sandia National Laboratories. “We are currently exploring their use in next-generation batteries, and in the process we hope to convince people of their great potential.”