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Posted: Feb 21, 2013
Nanotechnology in Japan - companies, research, and university labs
(Nanowerk News) Due to years of great investment, Japan has gained a significant position in nanotechnologies. The support of nanotechnology by the Japanese government started in 2001 with the 2nd Science and Technology Basic Plan (STBP). In this plan nanotechnology and nanomaterials were prioritized as one of eight national issues of interest.
Total governmental funding of this field grew in these years from 85 billion JPY (approx $00 million) in 2001 to 97 billion (approx. $1 billion) in 2005. In its subsequent Science and Technology Basic Plan (2006 to 2010), Japan established nanotechnology as one of its four priority research fields.
Major investments were mainly targeted at clean energy and electronics. Other main nanotechnology research topics, described in this plan, were the development of advanced nano-materials that can substitute rare or deficit materials and nanomaterials and technologies which support healthy lives. The governments´ interest was mainly focused on the research areas of nanoelectronics, nan0materials, and nano life-sciences.
In the current, 4th STBP, the focus is on the development of green and life innovations. Nanotechnology is not mentioned as an independent field in this plan, but as a way to strive for these green and life sciences innovations.
Besides a governmental investment, a huge private sector investment made Japan an attractive place for nanotechnology commercialization.
Currently, there are 50 companies in Japan involved in nanotechnology-related business activities.
In addition, there are 68 nanotechnology and nanoscience-related research and community organizations in Japan.
Please note: we are mostly listing organizations with English language websites. There is a significant number of Japanese-language sites that we have not included here.
Admatechs, established jointly by Toyota Motor Corporation and Shin-Etsu Chemical Corporation Limited, develops advanced materials. The company's R&D Division is developing several technologies based on VMC combustion technology, for example, coarse particle removal from spherical metal oxide particles, particle surface treatment, and high dispersion of particles.
Asahi Glass has developed a nanoscale film forming technology it is applying, among other things, to the manufacture of transparent conductive oxide (TCO) film for thin film silicon photovoltaic devices.
The company's nanocubic technology allows the production of nanoscale ultra-thin coatings. In addition, nanoparticle technology is employed to create magnetic needle-shaped metal particles and plate-shaped barium-ferrite particles that are only a few tens of namometers in size, and a new high-molecular binder material and nano-dispersion technology are used to ensure uniform dispersion of the particles.
JFE Steel has developed a new high strength hot-rolled steel sheet which provides excellent performance in automobile suspension and chassis parts: 'NANOHITEN', a new precipitation-hardened high strength hot-rolled steel sheet in which precipitates are refined to a size of several nanometers, giving the material an excellent balance of elongation and the hole-expansion ratio.
Nano Control is supplying the Ultra-Precise Positioning System used with piezoelectric element for the fields of mask alignment, LCD inspection, optical pickup test, microscope observation and other fields from inspection to manufacturing process.
Nikon has developed a technology to form a coating with very low refractive index even in the vacuum UV region, and greatly improved the angular performance of antireflection coating. This ultra-low refractive index coating is called Nanoparticle Coating because the size of the particles that compose this coating ranges from a few nanometers to just more than 10 nanometers.
The foundation of Nissan Chemical Industries inorganic materials operations is its nanoparticle control technology. Beyond its core businesses and technological areas of organic materials, inorganic materials and electronics materials, the company also manufactures electroconductive nano-sized special polymers.
Quantum14 Corp. is dedicated to develop and commercialize 'Porous Silicon' technology which is based on the anodization technique for creating porous silicon with prescribed pore sizes ranging from nanometer to macroscopic scales.
SAMCO, Inc. is a process equipment company that develops and manufactures a wide variety of unique deposition, etching, and surface treatment systems academic facilities and for a worldwide network of major industrial customers in the compound semiconductor, optoelectronics, MEMS and other industries.
TOPCON supplies semiconductor inspection equipment, FPD equipment, and electron beam instruments used in industries such as semiconductor and FPD. TOPCON also supplies optical engines for projectors and optical device for new-generation DVDs.
Eurotechnology Japan plans, supports and implements international business projects which bridge the USA-Japan and Europe-Japan interfaces. Eurotechnology is specialized in the areas of electronics, opto-electronics, mobile communications & computing, mcommerce, telecom & internet, environmental technology and intellectual property rights management. Eurotechnology participates actively in the international research community and in particular is also integrated into Japan's large R&D community. Eurotechnology provides foreign corporations with efficient access to Japan's high-tech world.
Develops micro-/nano-fabrication and thin film technology. The 'Leading Edge Key Technology Business' transfers technology, offers consulting services, and sells products primarily relating to materials and devices-acting as a bridge between the technology of NTT Laboratories and the world.