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Research Results

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Dec. 2004
  Microgeared-motor with a diameter of 1.5 mm and the gear reduction ratio of 40:1 using metallic glasses (MG) microgears were developed. Both of super-small size and heavy-load durability are realized due to the MG microgears exhibits over 10 times superior wear resistance than that of conventional steel. This microgeared-motor is expected to apply for medical devices such as endoscope, catheter and so on. It is now planning to commercialize till 2007. The result was reported in the 10 newspapers including Nikkei, Yomiuri and Asahi on Dec. 28 and broadcast by NHK and Miyagi-TV.
Prof. Inoue group(Non-equilibrium materials)
Dec. 2004
  No one has ever intentionally undertaken to obtain shaped Si crystal wafers by plastic deformation. If plastically deformed Si crystals could be freely obtained, new applications based on various creative concepts could be actively developed in a wide range of fields. We report on the successful plastic deformation of Si crystal wafers for the preparation of wafers with various shapes. One application of shaped wafers is as well-shaped concave Si crystal lenses or mirrors. The lattice plane of such a crystal lens has a curvature exactly along the surface. A new solar cell system is proposed and demonstrated with the concave Si crystal mirror used as both a solar cell and a focused mirror. This system can make use of the reflected photons from solar cells. The work has been done in collaboration with Kyoto-U, and was published in Web site of Nature Materials on Dec. 20, and introduced by such press sources as Yomiuri, Kyodo-Tsushin, Kahoku-Shimpo, Nikkan-Kogyo, and DIE WELT.
Prof. Nakajima’s group(Crystal Physics)
Dec. 2004
  ZnO has been known as one of the best semiconductors for highly efficient ultra-violet diode lasers due to its large exciton binding energy, since room temperature lasing was demonstrated by the same group 8 years ago. Intensive research has been carried out in the world since then but the key for p-type ZnO is turned out to be just making crystal thin film as defect-free as possible. However, cutting-edge technologies such as combinatorial, laser-heating, and laser-MBE have open up the way. The work has been done in collaboration with Tsukuba-U, RIKEN, Shizuoka-U, RIEC-Tohoku-U, Tokyo Tech., and NIMS, was published in Web site of Nature Materials on Dec. 19, and introduced by such press sources as NHK, Asahi, Nikkei-Sangyo, Nikkan-Kogyo, and Kahoku-Shimpo.
Dec. 2004
  Spin lifetime of electrons in metallic nanoparticles has successfully been observed in magnetic single-electron device structure. It has been found that the spin lifetime is greatly enhanced in nanoparticles compared to that in bulk. The spin lifetime is one of the most important factors to dominate the performance of spin-electronic devices, and this result is promising for potential application of nanoparticles as basic elements of spin-electronic devices. This work was made in collaboration with Japan Science and Technology Agency, Graduate School of Information Sciences (Tohoku University) and Research Institute for Electric and Magnetic Materials. The result was published in Nature Materials Online (December 5, 2004), and also reported in Nikkei-Sangyo and Nikkan-Kogyo newspapers (December 6, 2004).
Prof. Takanashi’s group( Magnetic Materials),
Prof. Maekawa’s group(: Theory of Solid State Physics)
Oct. 2004
 High quality single crystals of NpCoGa5 were grown and the Fermi surfaces were observed for the first time in transuranium compounds by the de Haas-van Alphen effect. There are two kinds of cylindrical Fermi surface in NpCoGa5. The 5f electrons of Np contribute to the conduction bands, forming the heavy electronic state. The conductive Np-planes are separated by the non-conductive Co-plane, bringing about two-dimensional character. The work has been done in collaboration with JAERI and Osaka University. The result was reported in J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. as a letter, as well as in newspapers of Nikkan-Kogyo (on Oct. 4) and Joyo (on Oct. 6). 
Prof. Shiokawa group (Radiochemistry of Metals),
International Research Center for Nuclear Materials Science
Aug. 2004
  There have been many contradictory reports so far on the possible electrical conduction in DNA. The reasons behind may be the ambiguities of the DNA samples and electrical contacts. Regarding the samples, it has been clarified theoretically based on the electronic state calculations that DNA can be carrier doped if samples solutions with the divalent cations are fully dried on the substrates; holes will be doped on guanosines. This finding will open a way to use DNA as semiconductor devices. This report was published in August Issue of J. Phys. Soc. JPN (2004), and in Nikkan-Kogyo Newspaper on August 16, 2004.
Prof. Fukuyama's group (International Frontier Center for Advanced Materials (IFCAM)))
Aug. 2004
  Metal oxides often exhibit wide variations of their physical properties with slight deviation from the ideal oxygen stoichiometry. Analytical method for detecting such a small amount of oxygen vacancy has not been established yet. Here we develop high-sensitivity technique to measure vacancy concentration in strontium titanate using annular-dark-field electron microscopy and core-level spectroscopy. We also demonstrate to grow oxygen vacancy superlattices in strontium titanate films with oxygen doping profiles that exhibit subnanometer abruptness. Our findings open a pathway to the microscopic study of individual vacancies and their clustering, not only in oxides, but also in crystalline materials more generally. The work has been done in collaboration with University of Tokyo, JST, Bell Laboratory, and Cornell University, and was published in Nature on August 5th. Nikkan-Kogyo Newspaper reported the highlights on this work.
July. 2004
  Ferromagnetic materials with 100% spin polarization are expected to realize sensitive magnetic-field sensors and high on/off ratio magneto-resistive junctions, which would enhance magnetic storage capacity. Correlated-electron oxides, as one of the most promising candidates, however, have not been able to realize such performances in devices. Newly developed interface-magnetization tester employing laser light enables one to realize robust magnetism at interface by design, yielding in high performance devices. The work has been done in collaboration with AIST, JST, and U-Tokyo, and was published in Science on July 30. Such newspapers as Asahi, Nikkei, Nikkan-Kogyo, Nikei-Sangyo, and Kahoku-Shimpo reported the progress.
June. 2004
  Mg-based new composite materials, composed of Mg[NH2]2 and LiH, with more than 9 mass% of hydrogen have been successfully developed. Moreover, we have demonstrated that the composite materials can be conveniently produced by the industrial method (just a hydrogen treatment of mixtures of Mg- and Li-nitrides). The result was reported in the newspapers of Nikkei and Kahoku-Shimpo on June 29, and broadcast by NHK and Miyagi-TV.
Prof. Togano group(High-Temperature Materials Science, Environmental Materials Science)
June. 2004
  Superconductivity appears when mobile 'holes' are doped into the insulating state, and it coexists with antiferromagnetic fluctuations. We report neutron scattering measurements on stripe-ordered La1.875Ba0.125CuO4. We show that the measured excitations are, surprisingly, quite similar to those in YBa2Cu3O6+x . Our results support the concept that stripe correlations are essential to high-transition-temperature superconductivity.This work was carried out under the joint study group composing IMR (JPN), Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA) and Ratherford Appleton Laboratory (UK). The result was published in Nature 429, 534 - 538 (03 June 2004).
May. 2004
  Metallic glasses (MG) pressure sensors with 2 times higher-pressure-capacity and 4 times higher-sensitivity than those for conventional stainless steel were developed. The sensors are Ni-based MG for high-pressure use and Zr-based MG for high-sensitivity use. This development as well as strain gauge deposition technique optimized for MG is now planning to commercialize till 2008. The result was reported in the 10 newspapers including Nikkei, Yomiuri and Kahoku-Shimpo on May 10 and broadcast by TBC and Miyagi-TV.
Prof. Inoue group(Non-equilibrium materials)
Apr. 2004
  Organic transistors are attracting much interest as possibly flexible, low-cost, and environmental friendly devices. We found that insersion of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) causes a change of carrier density in the conduction channel, and consequently enables us to control device characteristics. The result was published inadvanced on-line publication of Nature Materials Vol. 3 (2004) on April 4, as well as in newspapers of Asahi, Nikkan-kogyo, Nikkei-sangyo, and etc. on April 5.
Prof. Iwasa group(Low Temperature Condensed State Physics)
Mar. 2004
 Spin polarized nature of charge carriers is verified by Prof. Kawasaki's group for Co-doped TiO2 compound by magneto-electric properties even at room temperature. This "transparent ferromagnetic object" was discovered by the group including him three years ago and it has been under an argument whether the ferromagnetic signal comes from intrinsic source or extrinsic one such as metallic and ferromagnetic Co segregation. In this report, his group has clearly shown that this compound has carrier-induced and intrinsic ferromagnetism and will be useful for future applications. This research has significant impact for information storage and active devices such as spin transistor. The present result was published in the advanced on-line version of Nature Materials Vol. 3 (2004) on March 21, followed by press reports in Nikkei-Sangyo, Nikkan-Kogyo, and Kahoku-Shimpo on March 22. 
Jan-Feb. 2004
  Mass production of nanoparticles of CdSe has been successfully performed by inverse micell method and the structure of them is determined by ab initio simulation by supercomputer by the research group of Professors Kawazoe, Kumar and Kasuya. These nanoparticles of (CdSe)33 and (CdSe)34 are extraordinarilly stable and shoud be called the new magic number clusters.  The prices of fullerenes and nanotubes are still expensive because of the method of production is arcdischarge. On the contrary, the present nanoparticles could be made abundantly in cheap price because of the simple production method, and to be expected for immediate industrial applications.  The present discovery introduces a new paradigm of stable nanoparticles and since they are made as binary systems, there are plenty of varieties of new materials related. This news was reported in Nature Materials Vol. 3 (2004) (on Feb. 1) and newspapers of Nikkan-Kogyo (on Jan. 27), Nikkei (on Feb. 13) and online journals Nikkei NanoTechnology (on Jan. 29).