Director-General Masakazu Aono

Masakazu Aono
Nano-System Organization Group
NanoSciene and Nanotechnology
Academic degree:
PhD. The University of Tokyo (1972)
Recent Publications
See NIMS Researchers DB
Home Page:
See Personal Website
See Interview

Educational & Working History

2007 Oct - Present Director General, MANA, NIMS
Coordinators, Nano System Area, MANA, NIMS
Group Leader, Nano-System Organization Group, MANA, NIMS
Principal Investigator, MANA, NIMS
2006 - 2010 Oct Director General
NanoSystem Functionality Center, NIMS
2005 - 2010 Mar Director, Next-Generation Logic Operation Devices Using Atomic Switch Project, Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology
2003 - 2008 Mar Director, Nanoscale Quantum Conductor Array Project, ICORP Program, Japan Science and Technology Agency
2002 - 2006 Director General, Nanomaterials Laboratories, National Institute for Materials Science
2002 - 2005 Professor, Department of Material and Life Science, Osaka University
2001 - 2003 Director, Novel Atomic Switch Project, SORST Program, Japan Science and Technology Corporation
1996 - 2002 Professor, Precision Science and Technology, Osaka University
1995 - 2001 Director, Novel Functions of Artificial Nanostructures Project, CREST Program, Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST)
1989 - 1994 Director, Aono Atomcraft Project, ERATO Program, Research Development Corporation of Japan (JRDC)
1986 - 2002 Chief Scientist, Surface and Interface Laboratory, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN)
1978 - 1980 Visiting Professor, Physical Sciences Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, USA
1976 - 1986 Senior Research Scientist, ibid.
1972 - 1976 Research Scientist, National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials (NIRIM)
1972 Ph.D., The University of Tokyo

Research History

Masakazu Aono is highly recognized worldwide for his many distinguished research results over 35 years in the fields of surface science, nanoscience, and nanotechnology. His research is characterized by originality for making epochal advances and by surprising results. For reference, a letter of recommendation for Aono written by Dr. Heinrich Rohrer (Nobel laureate in Physics (1986)) is attached herewith. In the letter, Dr. Rohrer mentions "Masakazu Aono is now no doubt one of the world leaders in the field of NanoScience and Technology. He made with his group at RIKEN and later at NIMS pioneering contributions both with novel analytical instrumentation and in novel, advanced technologies and nanochemistry, demonstrating both astonishing scientific and technological depth and breath in "Nano".

Aono's outstanding research results are listed as follows:
  1. Elucidation of the abnormally low work function of lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) and the practical use of this material as an excellent electron emitter in collaboration with Denka Corp.
  2. Remarkable contribution to the development of angle-resolved photoemission (with and without synchrotron radiation) as an indispensable method in materials science research of today.
  3. Development of a new mode of low-energy ion scattering spectroscopy that is called impact-collision ion scattering spectroscopy (ICISS), which is useful for the analysis of atomic arrangement in a few atomic layers of solid surfaces. This method was later refined as co-axial ICISS (CAICISS) and the CAICISS apparatus is commercialized by Shimadzu Corp. (the apparatus was selected as one of the top-ten Japanese industrial productions in 1991 by Nikkan-kogyo Newspaper).
  4. In 1989, Masakazu Aono organized the Aono Atomcraft Project of the ERATO program led by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and conducted a study to develop nanoscale structures by means of atom manipulation through the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), thus taking the initiative in today's development of nanotechnology (which was almost 18 years ago).
  5. Development of multiprobe STMs which use two, three, or four probes, instead of one, to enable the measurement of electrical conductivity of nanostructures by using the probes as nanoscale electrodes contacted with given points of a given nanostructure ("Nanotester").
  6. Invention of an "atomic switch" which operates by controlling movement of a small number of atoms. The atomic switch has already progressed to a stage of study for practical application in collaboration with NEC Corp.
  7. Development of a new technology that can induce chain polymerization by simple application of a stimulus to one point on a monomolecular film forming one polymerized molecular chain (conductive pi-conjugated polymer chain) at any position. Various applications of this novel phenomenon are being studied.
  8. Development of a novel technology to enable the elemental analysis of nanostructures observed in the image of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) image through combination of energy-tunable synchrotron X-rays and STM.

Related Links


Selected Papers

  1. Nanoionics-based resistive switching memories
    Waser R, Aono M
    Nat Mater, 2007; 6: 833-840.
  2. Quantized conductance atomic switch
    Terabe K, Hasegawa T, Nakayama T, Aono M
    Nature, 2005; 433: 47-50.
  3. Nanometer-scale switches using copper sulfide
    Sakamoto T, Sunamura H, Kawaura H, Hasegawa T, Nakayama T, Aono M
    Appl Phys Lett, 2003; 82: 3032-3034.
  4. Materials science: Nanoscale control of chain polymerization
    Okawa Y, Aono M
    Nature, 2001; 409: 683-684.
  5. Visible light emission from atomic scale patterns fabricated by the scanning tunneling microscope
    Thirstrup C, Sakurai M, Stokbro K, Aono M
    Phys Rev Lett, 1999; 82(6): 1241-1244.
  6. Formation of nanometer-scale grooves in silicon with a scanning tunneling microscope
    Kobayashi A, Grey F, Williams RS, Aono M
    Science, 1993; 259(5102): 1724-1726.
  7. Coaxial impact collision ion scattering spectroscopy (CAICISS) - A novel method for surface structure analysis
    Katayama M, Nomura E, Kanekama N, Soejima H, Aono M
    Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res B, 1988; 33(1-4): 857-861.
  8. Quantitative surface structure analysis by low-energy ion scattering
    Aono M Nucl Instrum Methods
    Phys Res B, 1984; 2(1-3): 374-383.
  9. Quantitative surface atomic geometry and two-dimensional surface electron distribution analysis by a new technique in low energy ion scattering
    Aono M, Oshima C, Zaima S, Otani S, Ishizawa Y
    Jpn J Appl Phys, 1981; 20: L829-L832.
  10. Structure of the LaB6(001) surface studied by angle-resolved XPS and LEED
    Aono M, Oshima C, Tanaka T, Bannai E, Kawai S
    J Appl Phys, 1978; 49(5): 2761.