To establish an attractive globan nanotechnology research base

Over last 30 years, much knowledge has been built in Tsukuba Science City and the world-class research resources concerning nanotechnology are accumulated. Taking this advantage, an approach for establishing an attractive global nanotechnology research base in Tsukuba City has been started.

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TIA

● A platform for open innovation
TIA is an open innovation hub operated by five organizations: the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the University of Tsukuba, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and the University of Tokyo.
 
Aiming to accelerate innovation in Japan and to create new industry, TIA supports all the necessary processes from the creation of new knowledge to its industrial application, through the collaboration of the five acclaimed research organizations, and by bringing together their potentials and resources, including researchers, facilities, and intellectual properties.
 
Tsukuba Innovation Arena for Nanotechnology (TIA-nano) promoted open innovations in nanotechnology from 2009 to 2015. When the University of Tokyo joined in 2016, the hub took a fresh start under the new, simpler name of TIA, expanding its research fields to include biotechnology, computational science, and the internet of things (IoT), in addition to nanotechnology which continues to serve as the foundation of its R&D effort.


Nano Green

TIA focuses on 8 core research domains, taking advantage of the nanotechnology competence of Japan's public and private organizations as well as the state-of-the-art research facilities in Tsukuba. Among 8 core research domains, Nano Green domain is operated mainly by NIMS.


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System and integration platform
Nanoelectronics
In the nanoelectronics research domain, cutting-edge R&D is conducted, for innovative nanodevices, next-generation semiconductor nanofabrication/evaluation technologies, and photonics and electronics, using the Super Clean Room (SCR) as the core research facility. A large number of researchers from industries, universities and research institutes located in Japan and abroad, work on a broad range of R&D projects involving the development of devices, materials, and equipment. The research core facility provides an open innovation platform for the researchers to explore new businesses and technologies. In addition, an R&D support system is available in which highly skilled engineers support the R&D projects by providing a range of services related to common fundamental nanoelectronics technologies.


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System and integration platform
Power electronics
Power electronics is a field in which Japanese industry still maintains high competitiveness in the global market. The core technology is SiC (silicon carbide) power semiconductor devices, which are considered highly promising innovative devices that will contribute to creating a low-carbon society. TIA-nano's power electronics research domain is based on R&D on SiC crystal growth, wafer processing, epitaxial film growth and SiC device manufacturing which AIST has been the world leader in R&D of SiC for over 30 years. Companies, universities and research institutes have come together and are playing the central role in Japan's world-leading SiC R&D.


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System and integration platform
MEMS
We have established a MEMS production line that processes 200/300-mm wafers and facilities for integrations and packaging on the premises of AIST Tsukuba East, and are providing a venue to promote open innovation through joint research and/or demonstrative development in collaboration with MEMS researchers from companies and universities. In addition to miniaturization, functionality enhancement, and strengthening industrial competitiveness of advanced MEMS devices, we promote R&D of application-oriented integration and systematization. Through these activities, we aim to develop technologies that will contribute to society in the areas of living environment, infrastructure, and energy saving. Moreover, in these MEMS production facilities, we provide various services of process and analysis for R&D, and foundry services such as prototype device production, to private companies, universities, and academic research institutes.


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Advanced material platform
Nano-GREEN
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) is playing a central role in coordination with academia, including TIA core institutes, in providing a venue for collaborative research with industries to create environmental and energy technologies using nanotechnology. We encourage a wide range of industrial partners both in Japan and abroad to participate in Nano-Green to accelerate R&D in materials technologies. We arrange various forms of collaboration with companies according to their request. At Nano-Green, we aim to conduct efficient R&D through coordinated and integrated utilization of materials technologies developed by NIMS, advanced measurement technology, and computational science.


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Advanced material platform
Carbon nanotubes
The world’s first factory to manufacture single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) was recently built in Japan. To increase SWCNT-related business in the future, it is vital not only to expand the application of SWCNTs and increase their demand, but also to develop more advanced technology to mass-produce SWCNTs and significantly reduce their production. To achieve these goals, we intend to develop a dispersion evaluation technique, which will make it possible to identify the relationship between the characteristics of carbon nanotube (CNT) composite materials and the dispersion state of CNTs, and promote the development of products using the materials. In addition, we hope to develop revolutionary CNT-applied materials by making use of the outstanding properties of SWCNTs, which are 20 times stronger than steel, 10 times more thermally conductive than copper, 50% less dense than aluminum, and 10 times higher than silicon in terms of electron mobility. Such materials will contribute to the development of totally new “dream products.” Regarding the health effects of nanocarbon materials, such as CNTs, in the workplace, we assist business operators in conducting voluntary management of such issues. In this effort, we have been developing and encouraging the use of inexpensive and simple emission and exposure assessment methods, and quick and easy hazard assessment protocols.


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Basic resource platform
Light/quantum measurement
We lead the world in pioneering academic research for elucidating the origins of the universe and the roots of substance and life, using cutting-edge light/quantum sensing technologies with large accelerators. Under the light/quantum Measurement system (TIA-ACCELERATE), we have set up three open collaboration venues called “Squares”. Using this system, the five core institutes of TIA are mobilizing their advanced light/quantum sensing technologies, aiming to create new scientific fields and industries.


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Basic resource platform
Human resource development
At TIA, we are preparing a TIA Graduate School system to develop human resources for the next generation. TIA Graduate School is educational infrastructure aiming to provide a higher level of education than any single university or research institute, taking advantage of outstanding TIA researchers and facilities. The system plans to take a variety of initiatives to develop skilled human resources.
Nanotech Career-up Alliance (Nanotech CUPAL) is a project to foster researchers for the next generation and to enhance the careers and mobility of young-generation researchers in nanotechnology. The project was launched in FY2014 with support from the grant-in-aid program for the development of human resources in science and technology, and is led by TIA and Kyoto University.


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Basic resource platform
Open research facilities
In Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, there are 32 public research institutes (about one-third of all public research institutes in Japan), and a variety of research facilities and environments are available for various types of study. The TIA core institutes - AIST, NIMS, University of Tsukuba, and KEK - possess arrays of leading-edge facilities and equipment vital to perform various nanotechnology procedures, such as materials synthesis, microfabrication, prototype device fabrication, physical property measurement and nanoscale measurement/analysis. These facilities and equipment are available for external users through various forms of services such as technical consultation, technical surrogate, use of equipment, and collaborative research (subject to fees). University of Tokyo joined the Open Research Facilities network in FY2016. In addition to these fee-charging services above, Photon Factory (PF) at KEK offers shared facility use to university researchers, etc. for free. Each core institute of TIA holds training sessions to explain how to use equipment at the open research facilities, thereby promoting efficient R&D through active use of the equipment. Some of the facilities are also used in the MEXT Nanotechnology Platform Project, further promoting shared use.


Inquiry about this page

TIA Promotion Office
Sengen 1-2-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, JAPAN
TEL. +81-(0)29-860-4955
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
1-2-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, JAPAN
TEL.+81-(0)-29-859-2000
FAX.+81-(0)-29-859-2029