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Nanomaterials & Self-Organization

Nanotechnology brings innovations to the society widely in energy/environment, information/communication, etc., by adding novel functions to materials by controlling their structures at nanometer-scale. We are trying to establish the base of materials nanotechnology.

Let us think about the future clean energy systems. For large-scale electric power generation by solar cells, efficient use of high purity silicon is the key so that we are trying to improve the efficiency several-ten times by making single-crystalline thin films. Transparent electrodes are important for both solar cells (yielding electricity from light) and displays & lightings (generating lights from electricity), and we try to replace metal oxide semiconductors using rare-elements with carbon nanotubes or graphene. Nanotube-silicon hybrids are promising to realize Li ion batteries of larger capacities for (hybrid) electric vehicles. In this way, nanotechnology can bring innovations widely even if we use abundant carbon and silicon elements only, and contributes to sustainable technological society.

But nanomaterials can never be made in macro-scale if we artificially manipulate atoms/molecules one-by-one. Self-organization, i.e. spontaneous formation of materials from numerous atoms/molecules, is the key. We are trying to fundamentally understand the processes of chemical reactions of atoms/molecules, formation of nanostructures, and evolution of higher-order structures. Based on the fundamental understandings with flexible thinking and idea, we are proposing and developing novel processes for nanomaterials and their devices.

Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are a unique 1D nanomaterial quite thin ~nm and long ~mm. Extensive research made in physics/science fields clarified many unique properties and potential applications for them. On the other hand, as their price (more expensive than gold) shows, their fabrication process is still under development and their practical applications are very much limited. Chemistry & engineering should lead the innovations for their production and manufacturing. We have developed rapid growth process of millimeter-long SWCNTs and are trying to realize their practical production. Please click here for details.
  • Zhongming CHEN (D3): Understanding and engineering production of submillimeter-long carbon nanotubes.
  • Mai Yamaguchi (M2): Flame synthesis of single-wall CNTs.
  • Ittetsu OHBA (M1): Gas-phase synthesis of CNTs using "floating-supported catalysts" from colloidal catalyst sources.
  • Kosuke KAWABATA (M1): Synthesis of submillimeter-long carbon nanotubes using catalysts by impregnation.
  • Masaaki KURIYA (M1): Second-scale growth of carbon nanotubes from acetylene black for their hybridization.
  • Yusuke SUGINO (M1): Gas-phase synthesis of CNTs using "floating-supported catalysts" from catalyst salt solutions.
  • Noriyoshi NAKAMURA (M1): Development of arc-CVD method for continuous production of single-wall CNTs.
  • Soichiro HACHIYA (B4): Production of long CNTs by fluidized-bed and separation/collection of CNTs and support particles.

Rapid SWCNT growth
Larger Movie.

Continuous production by fluidized bed: Movie

Applications of Carbon Nanotubes

CNTs have both aspects of inorganic (having high conductivity, high tensile strength, and high thermal & chemical stabilities) and organic (light-weighted, flexible, and compatible with printing processes) matters and have a unique one-dimensional nanostructure. In collaboration with device specialists, we are developing common electrodes & wirings for flexible electronics via dispersion & printing, and secondary batteries & electrochemical capacitors via hybridization of CNT sponge with capacitive particles.
  • Nu-Ri NA(D3): Formation of dense CNT arrays for electrical and thermal conduction applications .
  • Hiroyuki SHIRAE (M2): Loss-free fabrication of CNT flexible electrodes & wirings.
  • Misato NARUBAYASHI (M1): Hybrid electrodes of CNT-sponge and manganase oxides for electrochemical capacitors.
  • Yu YOSHIHARA(M1): Creation of Cu-C hybrid materials and evaluation of their conductivity and current carrying capacity.
  • Daigo KYO (B4): Hybrid electrodes of CNT-sponge and carbon nanomaterials for electrochemical capacitors.
  • Keisuke HORI (B4): Electrochemical evaluation of CNT-sponge-based electrodes for lithium ion capacitors.
  • Ryo YAMADA (B4): Fabrication and electrical evaluation of printed CNT patterns.


Graphene is a unique 2D nanomaterial of a single atomic layer having excellent conducting, transparent, and mechanical properties. But their practical production method has not been developed yet. We are developing new processes; directly depositing graphene on substrates in order for its electronic device applications, and producing high quality graphene at low cost in order for its applications to solar cells and touch panels.
  • Asahi OHKAWA (M1): Development of practical CVD and transfer processes for graphene.
  • Yuri KISHIDA(M1): Direct formation of thin-layer graphene on substrates by etching-precipitation method.
  • Kohtaro YAMAGUCHI(M1): Direct formation of graphene on substrates by solid-phase process.
  • Sachie AKIBA (B4): Direct fabrication and structural control of few-layer graphene on substrates by etching-precipitation method.
  • Mami TAKABATAKE (B4): Conductivity enhancement of CNT and graphene by doping for electrode/wiring applications.


Silicon is the base for the information society. At the same time, it contributes to the renewable energy by realizing most solar cells. Furthermore, it has a highest theoretical capacity as an anode for lithium ion batteries. Carbon nanotubes and graphene are also expected to make a breakthrough for energy device performance. Targeting at the contribution to the large-scale introduction of clean energy devices, we are trying to realize large-scale and low cost production of high-performance materials using abundant elements of carbon and silicon.
  • Jungho LEE (D3): Rapid vapor deposition and electrochemical evaluation of porous thick films of silicon-based alloys for lithium secondary batteries.
  • Nan FANG (M2): Rapid vapor deposition and electrochemical evaluation of porous thick films of silicon on soft current collectors for lithium secondary batteries.
  • Yuhei YAMASAKI(M1): Fabrication of large-grain crystalline silicon films by rapid vapor deposition and melting-recrystallization processes.
  • Shigeki AOI (B4): Fabrication of various CNT-Cu hybrid films by rapid-vapor deposition method.
  • Takayuki KOWASE (B4): Gas-phase synthesis of silicon nanoparticles by evaporation method.
  • Eri MURAMOTO (B4): Basic study on low-cost solar cells based on crystalline silicon films.
  • Yusuke MORIKAWA (B4): Direct fabrication of silicon particle films on current collectors for lithium secondary batteries.

1-min-epitaxy and lift-off of Si films for solar cells

1-min deposition of porous Si films for Li ion batteries

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current version | FY2013 | FY2012
Noda Laboratory,
Department of Applied Chemistry,
School of Advanced Science and Engineering,
Waseda University,
3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan