Tohoku University. Research Profiles

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"S" Theme - 20 Result(s)

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Satellite Monitoring for China's Pollution and Asian Dust Including PM2.5

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Features
Kudoh Laboratory aims to construct an academic system of the Environmental Informatics and to make an unique study of earth environmental theme by using Information Technology. We have developed a three-dimensional histogram to analyze satellite images that consisted of a number of spectral data. And we extended to multi-dimensional method to obtain extraction reliable results of the aerosols such as air pollution and yellow sand. And also visualization for China's pollution and Asian dust including PM2.5 is now in progress.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
In areas that are affected by the serious air pollution, it enables an accurate judgment of the situation and prediction by using a combination of this research. I hope to cooperate with related companies, organizations and other.

Center for Northeast Asian Studies
KUDOH, Jun-ichi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Science of Next-Generation Higher-Order Functional Nano Metal Complex

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Features
We focus on high-order functional magnetic, conductivity, and optical properties, and dielectrics, which will be used in the next-generation devices, on the basis of "quantum effects and novel non-linearity". We are synthesizing high-order functional nano hybrid materials.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We have conducted materials research to realize "quantum computers", "optical computers", "large-capacity high-speed optical communications", "high-density magnetic memories", and "single-molecule memories" in the near future, and we are looking forward to collaborating with electronics industries.

WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research / Department of Chemistry Graduate School of Science
YAMASHITA, Masahiro, Professor

Selective recovery of tocotrienol from vegetable oils using ion-exchange resins

Features
Tocotrienol, one of vitamin E, has recovered by the conventional method with molecular distillation from deodrizer distillate discharged from the oil refining processes. However, tocotrienol easily loses its activity due to its low thermal stability, so that its recovery ratio and purity were extremely low. We proposed a novel method to selectively recover tocotrienol by adsorption/desorption using anion-exchange resin at 50 degree C. Tocotrienol is retained on the resin by ion-exchange reaction, and then released and recoverd from the resin by other ion-exchange reaction. Prior to the adsorption/desorption, free fatty acid, a major component of the feed, should be removed by esterification using cation-exchange resin at 50 degree C.

Targeted Application(s) / Industry
This innovative technology succeeds in solving the serious problems in the current tocotrienol production, the large weight loss due to the thermal decomposition and large amount of remaining impurities. This technology applies to the production of not only tocotrienol but also tocopherol as bioactive compounds s in food chemicals.

Graduate School of Engineering
SHIBASAKI-KITAKAWA, Naomi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Smart Ageing Initiative

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Features
In Japan, the percentage of elderly people aged 65 years or over was 23.1% in 2010. It is no doubt that Japan is the world's first super-aging society. In such a super-aging environment, it is necessary to form a society in which each individual can play an active role even as one becomes older in order to maintain and improve the quality of life of all people and to maintain a healthy society. In advanced brain science, research from the fields of brain function imaging, cognitive science, and psychology has been utilized with the aim of realizing a healthy aging society. Up to date information on various new technologies and related discoveries has been disseminated so that individuals can live a healthy life with peace of mind at every stage of aging, while maintaining and improving the health of their brain and mind in a diverse and complex society.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We believe to overcome super-aging environments is not only an object of public concern but also big business chances to create new industries.

Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer
KAWASHIMA, Ryuta, Professor Doctor of Medicine

Spintronics Devices and Materials

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Features
Spintronics is a technology utilizing electron spin which provided magnetic sensor, nonvolatile magnetic memory, and so on. Our studies are as below.

Noble & Rare-earth free magnetic films with large perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. We achieved to develop various Mn-bases alloy films exhibiting high perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (Fig.1 ).
THz range observation of magnetization motion. We achieved to detect a motion of magnetization using pulse laser in time domain (Fig. 2).
Novel organic spin devices. We achieved to fabricate hybrid junction consisting of an organic layer sandwiched by two inorganic magnetic layers and to observe magnetoresistance effect.
Tunnel Magnetoresistive devices: We are developing TMR devices with Mn-Ga alloys films (Fig.3 ).

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Magnetic memory and storage. Microwave and Terahertz wave. Magnetic sensors.
We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of these devices and materials in industry.

WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research
MIZUKAMI, Shigemi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Studies on Genome and DNA Polymorphism in Rice and Cruciferous Crops for Plant Breeding

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Features
We have developed a cost-effective method for SNP genotyping of many plant materials, dot-blot-SNP. Although this method requires a little skill, genotyping of several thousand plants can be achieved at once. This method can be applied to marker-assisted selection in plant breeding, seed-purity test, and identification of cultivars. Recently, we developed another SNP genotyping method, which is easier and rapider than the dot-blot-SNP method, and are studying to make it more cost-effective.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
These methods can be used for various purposes, e.g., identification of plant genes, evaluation of purity or genetic diversity of cultivars, S haplotype identification, and species identification. It may be possible to cooperate with seed industry, food industry, and others, and we are ready to teach our techniques.

Graduate School of Agricultural Science
NISHIO, Takeshi, Professor Doctor of Agriculture

Study of the Regulatory Mechanism of Socio-Sexual Behavior by Oxytocin and Oxytocin Receptor System

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Features
Oxytocin is synthesized in hypothalamus in brain, and by axonal projection and in a paracrine manner through the oxytocin receptors expressed in multiple types' neurons, it exerts various cellular and physiological reaction in animals. Generation of the mice lacking oxytocin receptor (oxtr) gene and analysis of them revealed that oxt/oxtr system was essential to control social and kizuna-behavior, such as maternal behavior, mother-infant relationship and so on. As genetic mutation in oxtr gene was found with a portion of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) patients, and in addition, as the impaired social recognition was the typical symptom of ASD, existence of a possibly close relationship between the genetic mutation in oxt/oxtr genes and ASD was suspected. Analysis of Oxtr-venus knockin mice: After generation of oxtr-venus knockin mice, we analyzed various types' neurons, which expressed oxtr, and found that oxtr was expressed in a large portion of serotonergic neurons. Thus, we now suspect that oxt may exert its function in controlling socio-sexual behaviors by controlling 5-HT secretion.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Our study presents new strategy to cure depression, anxiety disorder and ASD patients using oxtr KO pathophysiologically model animals.

Graduate School of Agricultural Science
NISHIMORI, Katsuhiko, Professor Doctor of Agriculture

Study on Molecular Mechanism for Plant Immune System

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Features
Plants have immune system against pathogen infection. In our research group, isolation of disease resistance genes, analysis of signal transduction pathways for disease resistance and characterization of defense-related proteins have been performed so far. In addition, we produced transgenic plants expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of defense-inducible promoter, which will be useful to visualize the induction of defense system.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Our knowledge obtained from the study on the mechanism(s) for plant immune system and the reporter transgenic plants will be available for screening chemical compounds activating plant immune system (so-called "plant activator").

Plant Pathology, Division of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural Science
TAKAHASHI, Hideki, Professor Doctor of Agriculture

Study on Phase Change Materials for PCRAM Application

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Features
Phase change random access memory (PCRAM) has attracted attention as next-generation non-volatile memories. A conventional PCM is Ge-Sb-Te which shows a fast crystallization speed and an excellent reversibility of phase transition. However, Ge-Sb-Te has a low crystallization temperature of about 150 ºC and a high melting temperature of over 600 ºC , which limits data retention and causes high power consumption, respectively.
We have developed a new phase change materials with high crystallization temperature and low melting point such as Ge-Cu-Te etc, which have high potential as PCRAM materials with high thermal stability and low power consumption (Fig.1,2).

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Our materials are developed for PCRAM, DVD recording materials etc. We hope the collaboration research with companies which are interested in our developed phase change materials.

Graduate School of Engineering
SUTOU, Yuji, Associate Professor Doctor of Engineering

Study on Tactile/Touch Feeling Sensor

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Features
Tactile sense and the sense of touch are multiple combinations of fundamental sensations, such as smooth and rough, soft and hard, dry and wet, and hot and cold sensations. These sensations are described with the information on force, distortion, temperature, stickiness and oscillation.
A tactile sensor corresponding to several types of human skin sensory receptors and an active tactile sensor system that is an integrated sensor structure imitating human haptic motions have been developed. These sensor systems allowed measurement of "Kansei" words that are extremely vague tactile feelings, and roughness, softness and temperature sensations. However, tactile sense or the sense of touch also includes other sensations and combinations of them. Therefore, to develop a sensor, it is important to define how the sensations and physical information relating to the sensations are obtained and what relationships exist between them.
In this research, the relationships between sensations, including fundamental sensations that have already been obtained and other sensations, and the relevant physical information are being investigated. Additionally, on the basis of the knowledge through the investigation, an advanced sensor system that allows obtaining haptic information is being developed.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
The research is beneficial not only to life science but also to manufacturing fields.

Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering
TANAKA, Mami, Professor PhD (Engineering)

Supercomputing for enabling large-scale advanced simulations

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As modern supercomputers are getting larger and more complicated, it is not so easy to exploit their potential performance. It is necessary to develop a simulation code with considering various factors for both hardware and software reasons, and hence expert knowledge and experiences about supercomputing are often needed to achieve high actual performance. Our research interests focus on shaping future supercomputing systems and their applications, especially system software technologies for effectively using the future supercomputers. Also we are always exploring how to make good use of the state-of-the-art hardware and software technologies in order to enable unprecedented-scale and more advanced simulations.

From beginning (apply for use of our supercomputer) to end (get a solution), we can consistently support developing large-scale practical simulation, which is feasible only by using the supercomputer. As a supercomputing center, we have a long history of parallelizing and accelerating a lot of practical simulation programs. In addition, we are looking for research collaborators who are interested in streamlining and/or facilitating large-scale scientific software development.

Cyberscience Center
TAKIZAWA, Hiroyuki, Professor Doctor of Information Science

Supercritical Fluid Technology Based on its Unique Properties

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Features
We have investigated various physical properties of supercritical fluids and their mixture. The properties studied are density, viscosity, phase equilibria, solubility, etc. under high temperatures and pressures. Using these suprecritical fluid features, we have proposed their application technologies; such as extraction of natural resources, cleaning, drying, catalyst preparation, polymer processing, polymer recycling, biomass conversion and controlled delivery. The methodologies used are experiments, simulation and theretical ones.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
Cleaning Technology: precision machinery component, optical component, etc.
Extraction of Natural Resources: food, supplements, aroma.
Polymer Processing: functional resin, electronic component, etc.

Graduate School of Engineering
INOMATA, Hiroshi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Supercritical Hydrothermal Synthesis of Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Nanoparticles

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Features
We invented supercritical hydrothermal synthesis method for the synthesis of organic modified nanoparticles (NPs). Under the supercritical state, the organic molecules and metal salt aqueous solutions are miscible and water molecule works as an acid/base catalyst for the reactions. Organic-inorganic conjugate NPs can be synthesized under this condition. This hybrid NPs show high affinity with the organic solvent or the polymer matrix, which leads to fabricate the organic inorganic hybrid nanomaterials with the trade-off function (super hybird nanomaterials). These hybrid materials of polymer and ceramics fabricated with NPs achieve both high thermal conductivity and easy thin film flexible fabrication, namely trade-off function.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
For example, by the surface modification of BN particles by supercritical method, affinity of BN and polymers could be improved, so that high BN content of hybrid materials, thus high thermal conductivity materials, could be synthesized. Also by dispersing high refractive index NPs like TiO2 or ZrO2 into polymers transparently, we can tune the refractive index of the polymers. CeO2 nanoparticles are expected to be used for high performance catalysts. To transfer those supercritical fluid nano technologies, a consortium was launched with more than 70 companies.

Advanced Institute for Materials Research
ADSCHIRI, Tadafumi, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Support for Succession of Traditional Performing Arts which Utilized Motion Capture System

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Features
I utilize the newest motion capture system and am supporting succession of traditional performing arts or folk performing arts. I carried out motion capture of various dances until now. The data obtained by motion capture is reproduced by 3DCG and animation, etc. This is a modern and attractive image.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
These works are helpful in order to support the succession to children. And it becomes contents effective also for regional improvement, such as the tourist industry.

Graduate School of Educational Informatics Research Division
WATABE, Shinichi, Professor PhD

Suppression of Intergranular Degradation of Polycrystalline Materials by Grain Boundary Engineering

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Features
Intergranular degradation often results in decreased lifetime, reliability and economical efficiency of polycrystalline materials. In spite of persistent efforts to prevent such degradation, its complete suppression has not yet been achieved. Grain boundary studies have revealed that coincidence-site-lattice (CSL) boundaries have stronger resistance to intergranular degradations than random boundaries. The concept of ‘grain boundary design and control' has been refined as grain boundary engineering (GBE). GBEed materials which are characterized by high frequencies of CSL boundaries are resistant to intergranular degradations. Our group has achieved very high frequencies of CSL boundaries in commercial stainless steels by GBE. GBEed stainless steels showed significantly stronger resistance to intergranular corrosion (see Figs. 1 and 2), weld-decay, knife-line attack, stress corrosion cracking, liquid-metal embrittlement, radiation damage, etc. and much longer creep life (see Fig. 3) than the unGBEed ones.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
By using this GBE processing, we expect to conduct effective collaborative research in related fields.

Department of Materials Processing, Graduate School of Engineering
SATO, Yutaka, Professor Ph.D.

Surface scientific approach for developments in fuel cell's catalysts

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From catalytic perspective, molecular-level understanding of surface phenomena occurring at nano-sized metal (alloy) particle surfaces is a key for developing highly active and durable catalysts. Our experimental approach for studying catalysis is preparations of well-defined metals or alloy surfaces by using ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and molecular-beam-epitaxy (MBE) techniques. We routinely use UHV-MBE, surface vibrational spectroscopy (IR, Raman), scanning probe microscopy (SPM), electron spectroscopy (XPS), electrochemical (EC) voltammetry, gas-chromatography (GC) etc., and try to clarify the solid surface phenomena on atomic, molecular-levels. We believe our research results directly link to future eco-friendly society.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies
WADAYAMA, Toshimasa, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Synthesis and material characterization of new organic ferroelectric materials, molecular semiconductors, molecular magnets.

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Multifunctional molecular-assemblies and hybrid organic - inorganic materials are examined from the viewpoint of structural freedom of organic molecules. The spin and electronic states of molecular-assemblies are designed in terms of electrical conductivity, magnetism, and ferroelectricity. Diverse molecular assemblies from single crystal, plastic crystal, liquid crystal, gel, to Langmuir-Blodgett film are our research targets, which were hybridized with inorganic gigantic clusters and metal nanoparticles. We are prepared to provide academic consultations to companies interested in our research.


Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials
AKUTAGAWA, Tomoyuki, Professor Doctor of Science

Synthesis of Biologically Active Cyclodepsipeptide Natural Products

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Features
Cyclodepsipeptide natural products include optically active hydroxy acids as well as various unnatural amino acids and exhibit a variety of biological activity depending on the peptide sequence, chirality, and selection of the hydroxy acids. Structure-activity relationships of a synthetic library of natural products could give us significant information of not only biologically important moieties but also intact positions in the biologically active small molecules. On the basis of the former information, more potent compounds and/or peptide mimetics can be designed. The latter information can also be important for making a molecular probe that is used for exploration of a target molecule.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We study for combinatorial synthesis of natural product analogues using solid-phase.

Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
DOI, Takayuki, Professor Doctor of Engineering

Synthesis of Novel Nano-Carbon Materials Using Nano-Space as a Reaction Field

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Features
We are designing and developing novel nanocarbon materials together with their hybrids by controlling the reaction nano-fields for the syntheses of these materials. One example is fully tailored carbon nanotubes with uniform diameter and length. Another noteworthy material is zeolite-templated carbon which has structure regularity like zeolite and a surprisingly large surface area up to 4000 m2/g. In addition, we have recently developed a method for a complete coating of the entire surface of mesoporous silica with graphene layers.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry
We are trying to apply these unique nanomaterials to electronic device, electrochemical capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen storage, biosensors and capsules for drug and gene delivery. We hope to conduct collaborative research with a willing company for a practical application of this technology in industry.

Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials
KYOTANI, Takashi, Professor Doctor of Engineering