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1959-1960 Synthetic crystal

Technologies Manufacturing technologies for synthetic crystal
Researchers Minoru KUNITOMI, Sadao TAKI (University of Yamanashi)
Private-sector participant EPSON TOYOCOM CORPORATION
Development period June 1959 to May 1960
JST funding Approx. ¥27 million (Contract Development Program)


Natural crystal is used as an important electronic component, essential in certain electronic equipment (e.g., portable telephones, automobiles, and digital cameras) due to crystals’ electric and optical characteristics (i.e., the piezoelectric phenomena). Synthetic quartz crystal, when used in a crystal unit, shows similar performance to natural crystal, and has the merit of being more uniform than natural crystal. Synthetic quartz crystal is also used in the optical industry principally owing to its lower boron content and enhanced light-transmission capabilities.

In this technology, alkali solution and raw rasca (small pieces of crystal) are placed lower in the autoclave of the extra-high pressure vessel, while seed crystal is placed in the upper area. These are heated, thus generating temperature differences between the upper and lower areas. Since rasca is carried upward by detention to be re-crystallized continuously on the seed crystal, uniform artificial crystal is produced. This has contributed to widespread use of artificial crystal (i.e., crystal units) in the electronics industry, domestically and overseas.

Uses and applications Timing device (crystal unit and crystal oscillator); sensing device (gyro sensor, pressure sensor); optical device (optical low-pass filer)

For details of crystal devices, see. http://www.epsontoyocom.co.jp/english/

1972–1976 Gallium aluminium arsenide (GaAlAs) LED

Technologies Continuous manufacturing technology for red LED (GaAlAs)
Researchers Junichi NISHIZAWA (Semiconductor Research Institute), Ken SUTO (Tohoku University)
Private-sector participant STANLEY ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
Development period October 1972 to April 1976
JST funding Approx. ¥200 million (Contract Development Program)

Although red light emitting diodes made of GaAsP and GaP came into use, there were problems, such as low emission efficiency due to crystal defect as well as a low productivity. This technology allows the liquid-phase growth of GaAlAs, with a crystal lattice gap close to GaAs, on a GaAs substrate continuously and in multilayer form. Thus, this technology improved light emitting efficiency due to the reduction of crystal fault, and reduced power consumption to tens of percentage of the conventional method. In addition, the productivity was improved due to continuous manufacturing, and cost reduction became possible.

1978-1980 Magnetic material amorphous metals

Technologies Manufacturing technology for magnetic material amorphous metals
Researcher Tsuyoshi MASUMOTO (Tohoku University)
Private-sector participants Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd.
Development period January 1978 to December 1980
JST funding Approx. ¥380 million (Contract Development Program)

Amorphous metals are superior in mechanical properties, such as hardness and tensile strength, and have superior magnetic characteristics (i.e., soft magnetic) for ease of magnetization.

In this context, high-performance magnetic parts utilizing features of high magnetic permeability and low-loss were developed by establishing the manufacturing technology for wide and long amorphous metal thin bands. These are the various transformers (i.e., magnetic parts to suppress noise and magnetic shields and antennas, which contribute to energy savings by reducing power loss and higher efficiency and equipment performance).

Uses and applications Magnetic parts in electronic equipment (e.g., variable saturated reactor for switching power source, magnetic shield sheet/tape, amorphous antenna, etc.)

1980-1985 Natural interferon-beta (IFN-β)

Technologies Development of interferon drug formulation derived from human diploid cells
Researcher Akihisa MIYAKE (Toray Industries, Inc.)
Private-sector participant Toray Industries, Inc.
Development period May 1978 to March 1985
JST funding Approx. ¥1,000 million (Contract Development Program)

The virus-inhibiting factor interferon (IFN) may be used as a safe and effective treatment for viral diseases and is also used widely as a highly effective anti-cancer drug. However, the mass production of interferon has proven extremely difficult. For this reason, it was long thought that its use as a pharmaceutical drug was difficult to achieve. This research successfully established technologies for the mass culture of human diploid cells and the refining of high-purity natural interferon derived from these cells.
Uses and applications A drug used in the treatment of glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) and other types of tumors as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C

1987-1990 Gallium nitride (GaN) blue LED

Technologies Manufacturing technology for gallium nitride (GaN) blue LED
Researcher Isamu AKASAKI (Nagoya University)
Private-sector participant Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
Development period March 1987 to September 1990
JST funding Approx. ¥550 million (Contract Development Program)

For developing blue LEDs with high emitting efficiency and long life, a superior quality of gallium nitride crystal is required. In the past, it has been difficult to grow the crystal of superior gallium nitride crystal on a sapphire substrate. This technology has succeeded in preparing superior gallium nitride by installing an aluminum nitride buffer layer in between a sapphire substrate and gallium nitride crystal, and thus established the manufacturing technology of blue LEDs.
Uses and applications (1) Display elements for household appliances and measurement instruments, (2) backlights for mobile phones, and (3) large-scale full-color display signs for billboards and sports events

1991-1996 Bismuth (Bi)-based superconducting wire

Technologies Manufacturing technology of oxide superconducting material (Bi-based superconducting wire)
Researchers Kazuo FUEKI, Koichi KITAZAWA (The University of Tokyo), Hiroshi MAEDA (National Institute for Materials Science)
Private-sector participant Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
Development period March 1991 to March 1996
JST funding Approx. ¥930 million (Contract Development Program)

Since oxide superconductors can utilize cooling with liquid nitrogen (about 77K), a wide range of commercial applications had been expected. However, since these materials are high-anisotropic ceramics based on a layered crystal structure, and their crystal grain size and crystal orientation are closely related to superconductivity, the development of sophisticated manufacturing technology has been required.

In this technology, in the manufacturing process for oxide superconductors composed of bismuth-strontium-calcium-copper-oxygen (Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O), the processes of plastic forming and sintering are delicately controlled to obtain the intended superconducting characteristics.

Superconducting wire produced using this technology has the world’s highest critical current density at 30,000 A/cm3 or above, with a length of more than 1,000 m.

Uses and applications Large-capacity power cables, coil wires for magnets

1991-/1998- Noyori catalyst

Technologies Method of producing optically active alcohols
Researcher Ryoji NOYORI (Nagoya University)
Private-sector participant KANTO CHEMICAL CO., INC.
Development period October 1991 to September 1996 (ERATO Noyori Molecular Catalysis Project)
JST funding

This technology relates to the synthesis of optically active alcohols through hydrogenation of ketones; catalysts used for the synthesis of optically active amines through hydrogenation of imines; and the use of such catalysts in a method for synthesizing optically active alcohols and amines. By using a ruthenium complex as a catalyst, a high yield is obtained and it is possible to produce optically active alcohols with a high optical purity. Professor Noyori shared half of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his development of this asymmetric hydrogenation using ruthenium complex as catalyst.

Uses and applications Synthesis of pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates and raw materials for functional materials

2001-2004 Water-18O for positron emission tomography (PET)

Technologies Manufacturing technology for water-18O for positron emission tomography (PET) cancer diagnosis
Researcher Koichi ASANO (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Private-sector participant TAIYO NIPPON SANSO CORPORATION
Development period March 2001 to June 2004
JST funding Approx. ¥1,300 million (Contract Development Program)

The FDG-PET examination method for the early diagnosis of cancer has been attracting considerable attention in recent years. Labeled water with oxygen 18 stable isotope, an original material for FDG drugs, was conventionally manufactured using water and nitrogen monoxide. However, the development of a mass production process with less energy consumption and high safety has been anticipated.

In this technology, the distillation technology for multi-component system mixture based on a simultaneous transfer model of heat and materials is applied to manufacturing. This process lowered the energy cost thanks to one-sixth the evaporative latent heat compared with the conventional method. In addition, since this process does not use nitrogen monoxide with chemical instability and toxicity, safety is assured. Thus, mass production in the scale of 100 kg/year of high purity water-18O (more than 97%) has become possible.

Uses and applications Water for PET cancer diagnosis

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