National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology – Japan

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is a public research institution funded by the Japanese government to a large extent. The present AIST is a rather new research organization, established in 2001. However, AIST and its predecessor organizations have been contributing to society through continuous advancement in technologies and support of Japanese industries since 1882. Headquarters of AIST are located in Tsukuba and Tokyo. AIST has over 40 autonomous research units in various innovative research fields, and the units are located at nine research bases and several sites (smaller than research bases) of AIST all over Japan. About 2400 researchers (about 2100 with tenure: about 80 from abroad) and thousands of visiting scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and students from home and abroad are working at AIST. About 700 permanent administrative personnel and many temporary staff support research works of AIST.

Through its Nanotechnology, Materials, and Manufacturing Research Base, AIST is contributing to green innovation, the aim of which is to achieve enhanced Japanese competitiveness and a sustainable society by creating materials and devices that play a core role in green innovation with nanotechnology as the key technology, and by revolutionizing manufacturing processes in the fields of nanotechnology, materials, and manufacturing.


  –  National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

(Content source: AIST website and press releases.)

AIST has developed a ternary material with a core-shell structure consisting of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, an ionic liquid, and a conducting polymer. It was found that, when used as the counter electrode of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the material exhibits photoelectric conversion efficiency as high as that of platinum counter electrodes. DSCs are in the development stage and platinum, one of rare metals, is considered to be a promising material of counter electrodes. However, because of the rapidly increasing use of platinum as catalysts in vehicles and fuel cells, there is concern that the supply and demand balance of platinum may be affected. If the new ternary material, which is produced by using simple processes, can replace platinum, then its use would help reduce the consumption of platinum. It would also enable a cost reduction and an increase in the area of DSCs Image Source: AIST

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