- Research Institutes for Science and Technology
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- Division of Colloid and Interface Science, Division of Intelligent System Engineering, Division of Mathematics Education, Division of Knowledge Interface, Division of TUS-Kagurazaka Future Network Research
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- Center of Fire Science and Technology, IR FEL Research Center, Research Center for Advanced Materials, Center for Drug Delivery Research, Research Center for Holistic Computational Science, Tissue Engineering Research Center, Research Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Genome and Drug Research Center, Research Center for Green Photo-Science and Technology, Novavax Inc. Research Group for H1N1 and VLP (Virus-Like Particle) Technology, Research Center for Human Support Engineering
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- Research Institutes for Biological Sciences
- Division of Immunobiology, Division of Molecular Biology, Life Information Science Center, Division of Biotechnology, Division of Development and Ageing, Division of Intramural Cooperation, Division of Extramural Cooperation
- Research-Education Organization for Information Science and Technology
- Information Media Center, Frontier Research Center for Computational Sciences, Information Science Education Center
A research group led by Professor MOCHIDA Tomoyuki (Kobe University Graduate School of Science) and Dr. FUNASAKO Yusuke (Tokyo University of Science, Yamaguchi) has developed a metal-containing compound which transforms into a solid when exposed to light and returns to liquid form when heated. This substance could potentially be used for photolithography technology, such as fabricating printed circuits, among other applications.
The findings were published in the journal Chemical Communications on May 7, 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
Coordination polymers are solids with various useful applications. In recent years, research into coordination polymers has increased, and scientists have developed many ways to synthesize them, but most of these methods rely on chemical reactions in solutions. This is the first example of a method that creates coordination polymers by exposing liquids to light.
Techniques that can control the properties of materials through external stimuli such as light and heat are extremely important in creating materials for use in electronics. For example, materials which solidify when exposed to light (photosensitive resins) are used in creating printed circuits, but it is difficult to reuse these materials.
The idea behind it is over 100 years old
DYSPROSIUM and neodymium are not exactly the best-known elements in the periodic table, but for makers of high-end electric motors they have become vital. Both are strongly magnetic and thus crucial to the construction of powerful motors of the sort used, for example, in electric cars. Unfortunately, they lurk in the part of the table known as the rare-earth metals and, as that name suggests, workable deposits of them are scarce. At the moment, the main source of supply is in China, whose government has used its near-monopoly to restrict availability and push up the price. So there is a lot of interest in inventing motors that can do without them. And several groups of researchers think they have come up with one.
The device in question is known as a switched reluctance motor. The idea behind it is over 100 years old, but making a practical high-performance version suitable for vehicles has not been possible until recently. A combination of new motor designs and the advent of powerful, fast-switching semiconductor chips, which can be used to build more sophisticated versions of the electronic control systems required to operate a reluctance motor, is giving those motors a new spin.
One of the leading contenders is Inverto, a research and development company based in Ghent, Belgium. Inverto’s engineers, led by John De Clercq, the firm’s research director, are collaborating with the University of Ghent and the University of Surrey, in Britain, and also with an unnamed carmaker. They already have a motor running in a car. At Newcastle University, also in Britain, researchers are working with several companies to produce reluctance motors for both cars and lorries. And studies are being carried out in America and Japan too. A team led by Nobukazu Hoshi of the Tokyo University of Science, for example, has experimented with a reluctance motor in a Mazda sports car.
It seems that sugar may be the missing ingredient for building rechargeable batteries that are more robust, cheaper, and capable of storing more energy.
Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in portable electronics, but concerns over rapidly growing demands for lithium – a metal that is mainly found in politically sensitive regions such as Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and China – have pushed countries like Japan to try and develop viable alternatives for a cheap, high-performance rechargeable battery.
Designed specifically for tasks that require heavy lifting, such as commerce or nursing
Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science in Japan are now developing a light exoskeleton concept that can carry items as heavy as 40 kilograms with little to no difficulty. Created by professor Hiroshi Kobayashiand his team of experts, the exoskeleton is affixed to the hips and shoulders by straps and a padded waistband, while its A-shaped frame is equipped with four pneumatic artificial muscles (lightweight rubber blades encased in mesh) that contract when pressurized air is pumped in and can exert up to 30 kilograms of instant support for extra strenuous tasks. The frame is specially designed to augment the functions of the arms and back specifically in tasks that require heavy lifting, such as commerce or nursing.
The method has been shown to work with all types of hair follicles
Researchers lead by Professor Takashi Tsuji from the Tokyo University of Science have successfully induced the natural hair growth and loss cycle in previously hairless mice. They have achieved this feat through the implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult-tissue derived stem cells. While these results offer new hope for curing baldness, the work has broader implications, demonstrating the potential of using adult somatic stem cells for the bioengineering of organs for regenerative therapies.