The Institute of Engineering Innovation:
The Center of Nanotechnology
and Corporate Relations at the University of Tokyo
THE INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING INNOVATION, THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, JAPAN
The Institute of Engineering Innovation (IEI) was established within the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2002. It consists of two divisions of strategic research and project management, and two research centers of nanotechnology and nano-characterization. Fostering the development of the next generation of leaders and encouraging collaborations with industry are areas of particular focus for the IEI (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Conceptual diagram of the Institute of Engineering Innovation at the University of Tokyo.
The strategic research division aims to nurture future leaders in the field of engineering through international programs for promising engineering researchers. So far, five young researchers have been accepted as part of this program. Current fields of research include atomic wave engineering, catalysis, quantum optoelectronics, web engineering, and global water circulation informatics.
The project management division pursues a variety of research projects in cooperation with a range of partners, from national organizations to industry partners. Centers within the IEI include the Innovation Policy Research Center, the Nanophotonics Research Center, the Center for Advanced Power & Environmental Technology, Future Wind Power System Department. In addition, two collaborative research labs with JEOL Ltd. and RIGAKU Corporation are successfully operating to offer the opportunity for the development, training and sharing of some of the world's most advanced analytical instruments.
The Nanotechnology Research Center maintains the technological base required for research in this field and functions as a platform for collaboration, providing access to facilities for academia and industry throughout Japan. Its capabilities include ultra-fine lithography, nano-measurement, ultra-high-voltage and analytical electron microscopy, and cleanrooms equipped to the highest international standards.
More recently, the Research Hub for Advanced Nano Characterization was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as part of an effort to improve the research infrastructure network for a low carbon society and the center is now an important hub for Japanese research into nanotechnology.
The University of Tokyo IEI offers Japanese companies and other Japanese universities access to the world's best equipment for research in the field of nanotechnology. Through joint research with nanotechnology companies, the IEI is creating new tools to drive the field forward. At the same time, the IEI's focus on training and pioneering new initiatives is nurturing the next generation of researchers who will take the lead in the future.
Currently, the following researchers are affiliated with, and centers belong to, IEI, and they are pursuing projects in a wide variety of research fields.
STRATEGIC RESEARCH DIVISION
Associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology
Development of catalytic nitrogen fixation: Associate Professor Yoshiaki Nishibayashi's ultimate aim is to achieve a sustainable nitrogen fixation system alternative to the energy consuming Haber-Bosch process. A combined system of multiple transition metal complexes is projected for direct transformation of molecular dinitrogen into ammonia under ambient conditions (Fig. 2(a)).
Transition metal-catalyzed organic transformations: To establish more practical organic transformations for easy access to complicated molecular structures, new multinuclear catalytic systems are designed and constructed (Fig. 2(a)).
Associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, and in the Department of Applied Physics
Carbon nanotube photonics and optoelectronics: Associate Professor Yuichiro Kato exploits state-of-the-art semiconductor processing technology to integrate individual carbon nanotubes into nanoscale devices such as field-effect transistors and photonic crystal cavities (Fig. 2(b)).
Associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering
Development of global hydroinformatics: Associate Professor Yukiko Hirabayashi's research focuses on climate change and hydrological cycles on a global scale. Future changes in hydrological cycles, including flood frequency and the distribution of water resources, are projected using numerical simulations driven under future climate change and socioeconomic scenarios (Fig. 2(c)).
Associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering
Nanobiodevice engineering: Associate Professor Takanori Ichiki's research aims to create innovative biodevices for medical and healthcare applications by combining advanced nanofabrication technology and biotechnology (Fig. 2(d)).
PROJECT MANAGEMENT DIVISION
Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Management
Director of the Institute of Engineering Innovation
Materials science and elemental technology for advanced energy and environmental systems: Prof. Takayuki Terai's research subjects are (a) material science and chemical engineering for advanced energy systems including next-generation fission reactor, fusion reactor and nuclear fuel reprocessing systems; (b) elemental technology for hydrogen energy systems including fuel cell, hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, etc., and; (c) material processing with high-energy particles such as neutrons, ions, electrons and plasma particles for advanced material preparation and property modification. (Fig. 2(e)).
Lecturer in the Department of Applied Chemistry
Development of new functional mixed anion compounds: The research focus of Dr. Hiraku Ogino's group is to develop novel functional materials based on layered mixed anion compounds. These compounds have high flexibility of materials design and exhibit properties such as superconductivity, thermoelectricity, and luminescence (Fig. 2(f)).
Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering
Research on offshore wind energy: Professor Takeshi Ishihara's research focuses on design aspects of offshore wind energy systems. This includes the assessment of external design conditions, the dynamic simulation of the floating wind turbine systems, cost estimations of offshore wind energy and optimization of floater systems (Fig. 2(g)).
Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems
Director of the Center for Advanced Power and Environmental Technology (APET)
Developing an innovative electricity network: The primary mission of APET is to conduct and promote academic activities in collaboration with industry in order to provide young students with opportunities to gain broader knowledge of the next generation of power systems and advanced power equipment, with the objective of training a skilled workforce required for the future development of the power engineering industry of the future.
Professor in the Department of Technology Management for Innovation
Innovation Policy Research Center, Institute of Engineering Innovation
Director, Policy Alternatives Research Institute
Special Advisor to the President
Innovation management using information technology: Professor Ichiro Sakata has developed a computer-based approach to model science, technology, knowledge, and market structures as well as to detect emerging research trends.
Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems
Dressed photon technology: Professor Motoichi Ohtsu's research investigates principles of dressed photons, including light-matter interactions in nanometric space and photon-electron-phonon interactions. Other research interests include applications of dressed-photon devices, novel functional nano-scale optical devices, nano-fabrication and the smoothing of material surfaces, energy conversion such as silicon light emitting diodes and lasers, and information processing, including non-Von Neumann computing.
RESEARCH HUB FOR ADVANCED NANO CHARACTERIZATION
Associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Development of advanced scanning transmission electron microscopy for materials science research: Associate Professor Naoya Shibata's research focus is to develop and utilize new atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy techniques for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of interface properties in materials and devices, and to establish guidelines for designing interface properties at the atomic-scale (Fig. 2(h)).
NANOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER
Professor and Director of the Nanotechnology Research Center
Advanced TEM (transmission electron microscopy), STEM (scanning transmission electron microscopy) and application for materials science: Professor Yuichi Ikuhara's research topics include advanced transmission electron microscopy for materials science (HRTEM, STEM, EDS, EELS), grain boundary and interface characterization, grain boundary phenomena in functional materials, lattice defects (dislocation technology) and ionic conductor and ceramic quantum devices (Fig. 2(i)).
Associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems
Development of spintronics devices: Associate Professor Shinobu Ohya's research focus is to develop novel electronics devices using spin degrees of freedom of electrons with high-quality single-crystalline epitaxial films, such as ferromagnetic semiconductors and oxides, which are grown by molecular beam epitaxy (Fig. 2(j)).
Fig. 2: (a)(top) Some simple iron complexes work as effective catalysts for the formation of ammonia equivalent under ambient conditions; (a)(bottom) the combined experimental and theoretical studies reveal the detailed reaction pathway for the formation of ammonia under ambient conditions; (b)(top) mode field profile of a photonic crystal nanobeam cavity; (b)(bottom) a SEM image of an air-suspended carbon nanotube transistor; (c) projected change in flood frequency (blue: increase, red: decrease); Multi-model median return period (years) in 21C for discharge corresponding to the 20C 100-year flood; (d) a blood testing device for early cancer detection; (e) the surface of PTFE-FEP copolymer irradiated with 80 keV N2+ ions at 1×1017 ions/cm2; (f) single and mixed anion compounds; (g) Fukushima Mirai - a 2 MW turbine with a compact semi-sub floater; (h) a segmented annular all field (SAAF) detector. Pn-junction and magnetic skyrmions can be visualized by the detector; (i) annular bright field (ABF) STEM image of LixFePO4, in which the contrast of the Li column is clearly observed as indicated by arrows; (j) a vertical spin transistor and the lattice image of the newly-developed ferromagnetic semiconductor Fe-doped Ge (GeFe).
HUB RESEARCH CENTERS
The IEI has the following two hub research centers, which contain state-of-the-art facilities necessary for nano-technology research. These facilities are available to external researchers.
Research Hub for Advanced Nano Characterization (managed by Associate Professor Naoya Shibata)
The Research Hub for Advanced Nano Characterization develops systems for next-generation transmission electron microscopy (Fig. 3). Using a newly developed imaging technique called "annular bright field imaging," this center has succeeded in becoming the first in the world to achieve direct observation of hydrogen atomic columns inside crystals. Thanks to the strong collaboration with JEOL Ltd., organized through The University of Tokyo-JEOL University-Corporate Collaboration Office, 0.045nm spatial resolution in an electron microscope was achieved for the first time in 2014. The center pioneered the development of a unique electron detector for a scanning transmission electron microscope that enables the direct visualization of electromagnetic fields inside materials. This detector has recently become commercially available from JEOL Ltd. In addition, the center, with the support of MEXT, has established the Advanced Nanocharacterization Center at IEI for academia and industry throughout Japan, which offers numerous cutting edge materials and bio-characterization tools, including many electron microscopes for outside users.
Fig. 3: (Left) 1250 kV ARM microscope. (Right, top): HAADF STEM image of Si , indicating that the two silicon atomic columns can be discriminated. The resolution is 0.045 nm, which is the world record in the STEM mode. (Right, bottom): Magnetic skyrmion imaged by a newly developed SAAF detector.
Takeda super cleanroom (managed by Associate professor Shinobu Ohya)
The Takeda super cleanroom is a shared hub facility for nano-fabrication (Fig. 4). Currently, more than 700 researchers, including researchers outside of the University of Tokyo, are using this facility, working in a wide variety of fields including material science, micro machines, micro device fabrication, studies of near-field light, novel transistors and spintronics. It is also used for collaborative projects with companies and is a hub for industry-university collaboration as well as a hub for nano-fabrication at the University of Tokyo. This facility has an area of 600 m2, which is divided into three sections with cleanroom classes of 1, 10, and 1000 (as defined by the US Federal Standard 209E). This facility has a number of processing systems, such as advanced e-beam lithography systems (F7000, Advantest), which can write patterns with dimensions down to 10 nm; an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching system; mask aligners; oxidization furnaces; sputtering systems; and focused ion beam systems.
Fig. 4: Takeda super cleanroom ; a shared hub facility for nano-fabrication at the University of Tokyo.
Takayuki Terai, Ph.D. is a professor at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Management at the University of Tokyo, and director of the Institute of Engineering Innovation, the Graduate School of Engineering, at the University of Tokyo. He earned his PhD in engineering in 1983, from the University of Tokyo. He became an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Engineering in 1984, an associate professor in 1987 and professor in 1999. He was a visiting researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) from 1986-1987 and at the Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Center (Germany) from 1993-1994. Professor Terai's research primarily focuses on material research for advanced energy systems and energy and environmental problems.