Appendix D. Japanese Site Reports


OVERVIEW OF NANOPARTICLE / NANOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH IN JAPAN

Lynn Jelinski

When considered together, the WTEC panel's visits to Japanese sites revealed several important trends that auger well for Japan's success in nanotechnology. These trends include a substantial capital infrastructure, the high quality of the science, ample human resources, existence of mechanisms for scientific renewal, and established and growing collaborations between academia and industry.

Capital Infrastructure. The panel was impressed with the very large and recent investments in capital equipment for nanotechnology and microelectronics, both at the national labs and at universities. In places such as Tohoku University, RIKEN, JRCAT, Osaka University, Tokyo University, NRIM, and ONRI, panelists toured room after room of state-of-the-art fabrication and synthesis equipment, characterization equipment, and carefully designed cleanrooms for micro- and nanotechnology. Given this infusion of capital into infrastructure, Japan is well positioned to assume a leadership role in nanotechnology and nanoparticle science.

Quality of the Science. As would be expected for any large-scale and far-ranging laboratories tour, the WTEC panel encountered some research that mainly takes the work of others and advances it forward, perhaps with a new twist or wrinkle. However, the panel also encountered research groups that are defining the field and creating, rather than riding the wave of scientific discovery and development. Examples of Japanese institutions where worldwide scientific leadership has occurred or is emerging in nanotechnology and nanoparticles include Tohoku University, RIKEN, the Institute of Molecular Science, JRCAT, NRIM, NEC, NAIR, ETL, and Kyoto University. The organizations that have a world leadership position tend to be those that have chosen a focus area (e.g., organometallic chemistry at IMS; nanoparticle synthesis at Tohoku University), rather than those that have lots of people working on too broad a range of subject areas.

Human Resources. The panel was impressed with the large numbers it observed of international postdoctoral fellows, students, visiting scientists, and temporary researchers. There are apparently a number of programs in place in Japan to encourage international collaboration and cooperation. This flow of scientists and ideas in the field of nanoparticles and nanotechnology suggests that international scientists feel they have much to learn from Japan. This open flow of personnel also ensures that Japan has ready and early access to new ideas and technologies.

The panel encountered no Japanese women scientists on any of the visits, suggesting that there is a tremendous opportunity for Japan to develop this aspect of its human resources.

Mechanisms for Scientific Renewal. Focusing on the national labs such as IMS, NAIR, NRIM, and RIKEN, the team was impressed with their agility in moving into new scientific areas. Panelists heard of mechanisms to close down nonproductive programs, mechanisms to ensure fresh turnover of faculty (e.g., at IMS), and mechanisms to develop consensus on new areas of science (e.g., the Intelligent Materials Forum). Such mechanisms will help ensure Japan's leadership role, not only in nanotechnology and nanoparticle science, but in many other important areas of research and development.

Collaborations Between Academia and Industry. The panel was impressed with the large number of collaborations evident between academic labs and industrial workers. Many of the academic labs are staffed with long term visitors from industry. A single lab may have workers from competing industries, working side-by-side on company-specific projects. There does not appear to be particular concern about intellectual property rights.

Electrotechnical Laboratory (ETL)
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)
1-1-4 Umezono, Tsukuba-shi
Ibaraki 305, Japan
Tel: (81) 298-54 5220; Fax:(81) 298-54 5088,

Hitachi Central Research Laboratory
Planning Office
Higashi-Koigakubo
Kokubunji-shi
Tokyo 185-8601, Japan
Fax: 81-423-27-7695

Institute for Molecular Science (IMS)
Kazaki National Research Institutes
Myodaiji, Okazaki 444, Japan
Tel: (81) 564-55 7240; Fax: (81) 564-55 5245

Joint Research Center for Atom Technology (JRCAT)
Angstrom Technology Partnership (ATP)
c/o National Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research
1-1-4 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan
Tel: (81) 298-54 2570; Fax: (81) 298-54 2575

Kyoto University
Graduate School of Energy Science
Yoshida, Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606-01, Japan
Fax: (81) 75-753 5464

Nagoya University
Department of Crystalline Materials Science
Furocho, Chikusa-ku
Nagoya 464-01, Japan
Fax: (81)-52-789-3821

National Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research (NAIR)
Cluster Science Group
1-1-4 Higashi
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan
Tel: (81) 298-54 2540; Fax: (81) 298-54 2949

NEC
Electron Devices Laboratory
34 Miyugaoka
Tsukuba 305, Japan
Fax: (81) 298-56 6135

National Industrial Research Institute of Nagoya (NIRIN)
1 Chome Hirate, Kitaku
Nagoya 462, Japan
Fax: (81) 52911 1661

National Research Institute for Metals (NRIM)
1-2-2 Sengen
Tsukuba 305, Japan
Fax: (81) 298-59 2008

Osaka National Research Institute (ORNI)
Interdisciplinary Basic Research Section
AIST, MITI
1-8-31 Midorigaoka
Ikeda 563, Japan
Tel: (81) 727-51 9690; Fax: (81) 727-51 9630

Osaka University
Research Center for Intermaterials
Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research
8-1 Mihogaoka, Ibaragi-shi
Osaka-fu 567, Japan
Tel: (81) 6-879 8440; Fax: (81) 6-879 8444

RIKEN (Institute of Physical and Chemical Research)
Frontier Materials Research
Semiconductor Laboratory
2-1 Hirosawa Wako-shi
Saitama 315-01, Japan
Fax: (81) 48-462 4659

Tohoku University
Institute for Materials Research (IMR)
Katahira 2-1-1, Aoba-ku
Sendai 980-77, Japan
Tel: (81) 022-215 2000; Fax: (81) 022-215 2002

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Nagatsuta, Midori-ku
Yokohama 226, Japan
Tel: (81) 45-924 5759; Fax: (81) 45-924 5779

The University of Tokyo
Department of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Kogakukan #5, Room 709
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan
Fax: (81) 3-5689 7352

Toshiba Research and Development Center
1 Komukai, Toshiba-cho
Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki 210, Japan
Tel: (81) 44-549 2318; Fax: (81) 44-520 1287

ULVAC Japan, Ltd.
Vacuum Metallurgical Company (VMC)
516 Yokota, Sanbu-cho, Sanbu-gun
Chiba 289-12, Japan
Fax: (81) 467-87 3383

NOTES ON FUNDING OF NANOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH IN JAPAN

M.C. Roco


Published: September 1999; WTEC Hyper-Librarian