Scientific Innovation for Energy Harvesting Technology

Strategic Objects

Elucidation of basic principles for innovative energy conversion, and synthesis of new materials, development of new energy harvesting devices, and other core technologies, that will contribute to the high-efficiency conversion of ambient microenergy into electricity and their new advanced applications

Research Supervisor

photo: Kenji Taniguchi

Kenji Taniguchi(Emeritus Professor, Osaka University)

Deputy Research Supervisor

photo: Hiroyuki Akinaga

Hiroyuki Akinaga(Principal Research Manager, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST))


The aim of this Research Area is to create innovative core technologies for converting heat, light, vibration, electromagnetic field, biological body, and other types of ambient microenergy into electricity in the range of μW~mW for use in self-powered sensors, microprocessors, and other types of devices.
 More specifically, research will be promoted along two principal lines. One will focus on the development of core technologies and their underlying basic principles, for the highly efficient conversion of ambient microenergy produced from heat, light, vibration, electromagnetic, biological body, and other forms of energy sources. This is research that will develop substances and devices to convert untapped microenergy into electricity based on the new principles. It will be the challenge of discovering new principles contributing to innovative energy conversion such as that utilizing spin correlations or topological correlated phases and developing new materials with physical properties far surpassing the characteristics of substances to date. The other principal line of research will be on theories, analytical evaluation, and material design for developing the core technologies mentioned above. This research will attempt to develop new analytic formulations for the physical phenomena (properties of materials and interfaces, transport phenomena, etc.) that come into play in energy conversion, and will put forth guidelines for new-material design based on condensed matter physics or applying computer simulation. It is extremely important to pursue these two principal lines of research in closely collaborative and mutually complementary ways.
Accordingly, this Research Area calls for highly challenging proposals, which pursue to produce innovative principles, substances and devices to be tested and verified in their final stages, and which will lead to follow-on research and development stages.
 This Research Area, therefore, will be an integrated CREST/PRESTO where work will be pursued under the strong leadership of the Research Supervisor and Deputy Research Supervisor, and efforts will be made to reorganize research teams, coordinate research programs, and promote strong communication among researchers pursuing different themes, all for the maximization of research achievements.

Research Area Advisors

・Toshiaki Aoai
Ex-Fellow, FUJIFILM Corporation

・Hideo Ohno
Professor, Director, Research Indtitute of Electrical Communication Tohoku University

・Eiji Saitoh
Professor, WPI-AIMR, Institute for Materials Research Tohoku University

・Naoki Shinohara
Professor, Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere Kyoto University

・Kenji Shiraishi
Professor, Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability Nagoya University

・Mariko Takayanagi
Senior Manager, Technical Marketing Div. Toshiba Corporation Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions Company

・Hiroyuki Fujita
Professor, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Micro/Nano Methods, Institute of Industrial Science The University of Tokyo

・Hiroshi Funakubo
Professor, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology

・Kenjiro Miyano
Fellow, National Institute for Materials Science

・Yuka Yamada
General Manager, Project & Strategy Office, Business Innovation Division, Panasonic Corporation

・Keiji Takeuchi
Senior Manager, Socio & Eco Strategic Consulting Unit NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, Inc.

Year Started : 2015

Development of modulation-doped bulk-nanostructured high-efficiency thermoelectric silicon

Research Director:
Ken Kurosaki(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University)

New Group-IV Thermoelectric Materials for Self-powered Multifunctional Sensors

Research Director:
Masashi Kurosawa(Lecturer, Department of Materials Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University)

Polymer-based Vibration Energy Harvesting Technology Using Flexible 3D Microstructures

Research Director:
Takaaki Suzuki(Associate Professor, Division of Mechanical Science and Technology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Gunma University)

Creation of thermal phononics and its application to thermoelectrics

Research Director:
Masahiro Nomura(Associate Professor, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Micro/Nano Methods, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo)

Research on thermoelectrics/spinelectrics in topological semimetals

Research Director:
Jun Fujioka(Lecturer, School of Engineering, The Universitu of Tokyo)

Engineering of semiconducting carbon nanotube network for highly durable and efficient thermoelectric conversion

Research Director:
Tsuyohiko Fujigaya(Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University)

Spin-current-driven thermoelectric conversion of 5d oxides

Research Director:
Jobu Matsuno(Senior Research Scientist, Advanced Device Laboratory, RIKEN)

Study of novel fine structures and materials toward Spin Seebeck power generation enhancement

Research Director:
Hiromi Yuasa(Professor, Graduate School and Faculty of Information and Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University)

Visualization of the atomic structure and the nanoscale temperature distribution in thermoelectric nanomaterials

Research Director:
Hideto Yoshida(Associate Professor, The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University)

Year Started : 2016

Control of phonon drag thermopower by strained heterointerface of transition metal oxides

Research Director:
Takayoshi Katase(Associate Professor, Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Exploration of novel thermomagnetic responses in multilayered Dirac magnets

Research Director:
Hideaki Sakai(Associate Professor, Graduate school of Science, Osaka University)

Energy harvesting by using the membrane single crystal

Research Director:
Ryota Takahashi(Research Associate, Institute for Solid State Physics, University of Tokyo)

Developpment of functional piezoelectric polymers based on its control of flexible structure

Research Director:
Takashi Nakajima(Junior Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Tokyo University of Sciece)

Elucidation of photon-to-electron conversion process in bulk photovoltaic effect and development of new high efficiency photovoltaic materials

Research Director:
Masao Nakamura(Senior Research Scientist, Center for Emergent Matter Science, RIKEN)

A Supramolecular Doping Approach to High-performance Nanoarbon-based Thermoelectric Materials

Research Director:
Yoshiyuki Nonoguchi(Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology)

Development of Neutral Thermoelectric Materials Based on π-Extended Metal-Bis(dithiolene) Complexes

Research Director:
Michihisa Murata(Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology)

Piezoelectric transformer resonator for energy harvesting

Research Director:
Takahiko Yanagitani(Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Bioscience, Waseda University)

Piezoelectric Films with Enhanced Response by Polarization Manipulation

Research Director:
Tomoaki Yamada(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University)

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