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Reliable transistor 07/08/2019

Development of a 1200-V-class SiC Transistor with a Built-in Schottky Barrier Diode (SBD)
– For development of a high-efficiency, high-reliability power module for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) –

AIST has developed a high-reliability 1200-V-class SiC transistor with a unique structure. The developed transistor has trench type gates and SBD built on a trench sidewall. The cell pitch, i.e., the spacing of the gates, was reduced to 5 µm, less than one third of the conventional pitch. Thus, the voltage applied to the PiN diodes was reduced and a high-reliability transistor that does not suffer from current degradation was developed. Its performance was verified using a mass-production-quality prototype.

Figure

Drug resistance 08/21/2019

Elucidation of the Mechanism of Action of Anti-Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Drug and the Mechanism of Drug Resistance Using HBV Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-Chimeric Human Immunodeficiency Virus RT

HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) is fairly stable and the structure of its active site resembles that of hepatitis B virus RT. AIST generated a modified HIV RT that binds to entecavir (ETV), a nucleoside analog drug for hepatitis B treatment, and analyzed its three-dimensional structure. It was found that hydrophobic interactions of ETV are critical for its entry and binding to the active site of the modified RT and that ETV bonds stably due to a hydrophobic interaction with the bottom of the active site.

Structure of a modified reverse transcriptase of HIV bonded with entecavir

Arterial stiffness 06/19/2019

A Long-term Follow-up Study of Individual Differences in Arterial Stiffening

AIST evaluated decadal changes in arterial stiffness of 92 volunteers by a follow-up study. It also investigated the volunteers’ specific gene polymorphisms and physical activity levels. A specific combination of the gene polymorphisms was associated with 2.4 times greater decadal increase in arterial stiffness. The decadal increase in arterial stiffness in the high-physical activity group was less than half of that in the other groups. The results are potentially useful for developing a gene marker to identify the risk of cardiovascular disease.

figure

CNT biodegradability 08/28/2019

Confirmation of the Biodegradability of Super Growth Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
– A technique for measurement of carbon nanotube biodegradation in macrophagess –

By utilizing the characteristic of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that absorbs near-infrared light, AIST has developed a technique to measure the amount change of CNT inside of macrophage cells over time. After super-growth single-walled CNTs (SG-CNTs) were administered and internalized into macrophage cells, the cells were lysed and the amount of SG-CNTs in the lysate was measured. The results showed that the intracellular amount of SG-CNTs decreased over time and that SG-CNT is biodegradable.

Figure

Readout circuit 09/10/2019

A Readout Circuit That Drastically Increases the Number of Pixels in Superconducting Detectors for Photons, Particles, and Electromagnetic Waves
– For realizing compact, low-power-consumption, low-cost general-purpose high-performance measurement instruments –

AIST has developed a readout technology for superconducting detectors. The developed technology that can load a signal of 1,000 pixels or more on a single readout wire, which is 5 times larger than a conventional technology. The developed technology consists of multiple room temperature signal processors operating in parallel, and converts information from all pixels at the cryogenic stage into different frequency bands for each room temperature processor, loading these all together on one readout wire.

Figure

Crustal deformation 07/26/2018

Unraveling the Mystery of Crustal Deformation of the Japanese Islands
– Movement of the Philippine Sea Plate causes the east-west contraction –

Thought experiments in combination with analogue models have elucidated the cause of the east-west contraction and crustal deformation of the Japanese islands in the Quaternary Period. It was concluded that the cause of the east-west contraction is not movement of the Pacific Plate itself, as conventionally thought, but rather movement of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Figure

Thermoelectric module 08/02/2019

Development of a High-Power Flexible Thermoelectric Module
– Output power of 87 mW/cm2 generated at a temperature difference of 70 °C on a curved heat source –

AIST has developed a high-power flexible thermoelectric module. The developed thermoelectric material is a transition metal-doped bismuth-tellurium alloy. Thermoelectric chips were produced from an ingot of the material and a flexible thermoelectric module was built by mounting the chips at high density on a flexible substrate. The developed module allows to be adhered to heat sources with curved surfaces and can be used for a variety of power generation applications using waste heat.

Developed high-power flexible thermoelectric module

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