Further improvements and development of new polymer electrolyte materials are required to achieve the target values stated in NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) roadmap for the fuel cell and hydrogen technology developments. If the final goal is broken down into the performance of polymer electrolyte materials, minor changes to materials that have already been developed or are on the market will not be able to meet that demand. A major technical breakthrough will be required in the next 10 years, and a new concept will be required to achieve it. After showing the research background of polymer electrolyte membranes, this report overviews the current issues of polymer electrolyte membranes, especially the response to the NEDO roadmap for fuel cell and hydrogen technology developments.
Cell membrane consists of membrane proteins reconstituted in a lipid bilayer membrane. Recently, membrane proteins, such as ion channels and receptors, have attracted increasing attention as a sensor element because of their high sensitivity and selectivity. In this report, we introduce recent development of the sensor devices utilizing membrane proteins embedded in artificially produced lipid bilayers, i.e., artificial cell membrane sensors. First, we describe a method suitable for formation of a lipid bilayer in a microdevice. Then, the fundamental mechanism and applications of the sensors with nanopore proteins are presented, together with their technical advancement. Finally, we report on an odorant sensor system utilizing an insect olfactory receptor, and present a demonstration of the sensor responding to an odorant by combining with a robot.
The LB film is a thin film of regularly accumulated nano-thickness using the amphiphilicity of organic molecules. The thin film is optically polarized and has high directivity of molecular arrangement. Here, we introduce the structure of LB film with rare earth ions, basic properties from the light emission, and the possibility as a taste sensor. The structure of LB film has strong molecular film characteristics due to strong Lewis acidity of rare earth ions. On the other hand, the alkyl chain moiety in the ordered backbone functions as a hydrophobic medium and adsorbs organic molecules in aqueous solution. Using this fact, it was found that organic molecules contained in alcoholic beverages were adsorbed and the potential changed. The addition of rare earths increases the sensitivity of the potential response by approximately three times for LB films without rare earths.
A diaphragm gauge is a vacuum gauge that utilizes the phenomenon that the diaphragm is elastically deformed by the pressure directly received from the gas to be measured. Due to this measuring principle, it is possible to measure the degree of vacuum with high accuracy regardless of the type of gas to be measured. However, it is known that the diaphragm itself is easily affected by heat and mechanical vibration and causes measurement error. To solve these problems, we have developed a MEMS pressure sensor diaphragm gauge that uses Si as the diaphragm material. As a result, we were able to overcome the conventional problems.
The diaphragm type vacuum pump is a vacuum pump that exhausts gas using the reciprocating motion of the diaphragm. Especially, it is not contaminated by oil vapor. This pump is ideal for applications that require a clean atmosphere. With the recent rapid development of the semiconductor manufacturing industry and the electronics equipment industry, demand for the diaphragm type vacuum pump has also been increasing.
Minimal surfaces serve as a mathematical model of soap films, because they are equilibrium surfaces of the area. We give a proof of this fact, a representation formula for minimal surfaces and several examples gotten by the formula. A sufficient condition for a minimal surface to be realized as a soap film is given. We also give applications of minimal surfaces to study the surfaces of AB diblock copolymers and architecture.