Human-friendly machines are expected to increase in demand. To meet this demand, we have developed electrically driven soft actuators based on ionic polymers. This paper describes the development process, design guidelines, current state of R&D, and future prospects for low-voltage, polymeric actuators based on nano-carbon electrodes.
The current trend in graphene synthesis is to use thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at temperatures of 1000 °C or higher. For industrial use of graphene as transparent conductive films, higher throughput of graphene synthesis is necessary. We were among the first to adopt the plasma-enhanced CVD method, and have developed a process of high-speed large-area deposition for transparent conductive film applications. The development and a method to remove impurities from the process are presented in this paper. We report improvement in graphene film quality and other properties by decreasing the nucleus density using plasma-enhanced CVD.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011 spurred rapid research and development at AIST for a radioactive cesium decontamination system. In this paper, we introduce the development of an ash-decontamination technology that uses Prussian blue (PB) nanoparticles. We developed all aspects of the system using a combination of fundamental technologies, which included optimization of PB nanoparticle structure for use as cesium adsorbents, composite fabrication, e.g. granules for utilization as adsorbents, and extraction of radioactive cesium from the contaminated ash. All aspects of development were achieved within a short period of time through close collaboration among researchers from materials science, computational science, and geology. Collaboration with private companies was also effective.
Given the need to reduce greenhouse gases, we have developed an inorganic porous material, HASClay, which possesses excellent water vapor adsorptive efficiency, and the ability to dehydrate using a low grade heat source. In this paper, we explain how the synthetic process of HASClay was developed from a study of naturally existing clay and nanomaterials, and the requirements for widespread use as an adsorption material for energy conservation.
More than 20 years have passed since Dr Sumio Iijima discovered single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Development of this material is still an active area of research, world-wide, because the expected high electric and heat conductivity and mechanical strength properties are difficult to obtain with other existing materials. However, low growth efficiency of single-walled CNTs has made the cost of production high compared to that of multi-walled CNTs. Consequently, commercialization of single-walled CNTs has taken longer to develop than multi-walled CNTs. To address this problem, a super-growth process was developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) that uses an innovative chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. The super-growth method opens the door to a range of industrial applications widely. This report describes the development of this process for industrial scale, mass production of high quality single-walled CNTs, with commercialization in mind, from the perspective of business-academia collaboration.