Increasingly, those developing printed electronic products such as transistor circuits and photovoltaics are keeping an eye on both organic and inorganic options, such is the progress with both. Tohoku University Japan is one of the leading research centres that are progressing both forms of chemistry for printed and potentially printed electronics. For example, in 2006, N.Usami and others from this University presented on a "Concept Towards High Efficiency Solar cells: Microscopic Morphology Control in Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells by Utilising Island Crystal Growth".
At a CERC conference in January 2007, Y. Iwasa (Tohoku Univ.) spoke on an "Electric Double Layer Transistor" and M. Kawasaki (CERC & Tohoku Univ.) spoke on "Perspective of Correlated Electron Oxide Devices". Tohoku University collaborates with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology CERC-AIST in Korea.
The Institute for Materials Research is the oldest one among five research institutes of Tohoku University. It was started 90 years ago by the late Professor Kotaro Honda for research on steels. Since then the institute continued to develop, and the research field had been extended to other metals, alloys and related compounds.
In 1987, the institute was reorganized to the present form of a national collaborative research institute belonging to Tohoku University, and developed to be a Center of Excellence (COE) for both basic and applied research for metals as well as for a wider range of related materials. The name of the Institute was therefore changed to the current one, "Institute for Materials Research".
Prof. Masashi Kawasaki says,
"Oxide Electronics, as proposed by us, is aimed at exploring and developing new materials for novel electronic devices which have superior performance and can thus provide new opportunities in the field of information technology. We apply perfect atomic-scale epitaxy of oxide thin films and heterostructures to a number of highly challenging problems, including the development of such devices as high Tc superconducting Josephson junctions, spin polarized junctions, ultraviolet lasers, and all-optical ultra-fast switches. We use pulsed laser deposition, combined with atomic-scale crystal growth control, to create a variety of nanostructures.
We have successfully adapted "Combinatorial Chemistry", which was originally developed for medical and synthetic chemistry in liquid phase, to solid-state thin film processing, achieving a dramatic acceleration of the research process. Combinatorial method is extended to search for organic electronics materials and metallic materials for environmental solutions."
Prof.Takashi Matsuoka says,
"The advanced electronic materials bring breakthroughs in electronics such as ubiquitous communications. Our lab has been researching advanced electronic materials to create new devices, and we are now focused on nitride semiconductors which are famous for blue LEDs.
Since 1987, we have been working on an InGaAlN system which we proposed. The areas we have studied are epitaxial growth, predicting miscibility gap, creating a several substrates for epitaxial growth, and the dependence of crystal polarity on growth and properties, especially with respect to a system that includes indium. We grew InN films and their band-gap energy was found to be not in the visible region as reported previously, but in the infra-red. We are improving crystal quality of InN and reveal its properties herein. We also reveal an application of InN into laser diodes with thermal stability for optical communication systems."
Although the work on LEDs is less likely to progress to being printed, aspects of it will be relevant to those researching printed electronic devices.
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Read the new report Inorganic printed and Thin Film Electronics