In nano metal materials fields, the materials with unique properties generating in nanoscale have been focused on and developed. Nano materials have quite different characteristics compared with bulk materials in the same composition. Materials show the size effect and the quantum effect when being in nanoscale. As a typical property, the melting point of nano materials is hundreds degree lower than that of bulk materials. Also the conductive materials in bulk often change into semiconductor or insulator in nanoscale due to quantum effect.
"Manufacturing inspired in nature" is the aim for our group. Therefore we are working on the development of synthetic techniques on the monodispersed functional nanoparticles and of their dispersion techniques in liquid. As an example, the clarification of synthetic process of nanoparticles has been focused using alcohol/polyol processes, which is an eco-friendly non-aqueous system. Based on the processes, we are establishing the precise processes for controlling the structures and the compositions of nanoparticles. As an application for metal nanoparticles ink, several elemental technologies such as well-crystallized single nanoparticles, well-stable for oxidation, and well-dispersed nanoparticles in a solvent, have been developed.
In bulk materials fields, hydrogen storing alloys have been developed. Recently a required storage pressure becomes higher than before, so there is a chance to be back in promising materials, which were considered as "unhandiness" materials in the past. Also electrical resistance materials and metal surface processing have been developed.
In mesoscopic materials fields, mesostructure designing has been performed taking advantage of chemical-physical interactions such as "Self-Assembly" and "Oriented Attachment". The structure has been controlled in solution process, such as "sol-gel method" and "hydrothermal synthesis". The unique properties of meso/macroscopic objects have been developed by arranging the shape and the orientation of nanoparticles and nanostructures.
As an example, fluorescence organic-inorganic nanocomposite materials have been developed using the specific interaction at the interface between luminescenct nanoparticles and inorganic matrix, for the solid-state lasing applications.