Helium crystallization under micro-gravity, highly energy-efficient CMOS logic systems, terahertz technology, long polyester synthesized by E. coli, and ham radio for global communication: the February 2013 issue the Tokyo Institute of Technology Bulletin contains the latest information about cutting edge research projects and related activities at Tokyo Tech.
Research topics covered in the February 2013 issue of the Tokyo Tech Bulletin include:
Low temperature physics on a jet-plane
Yuichi Okuda describes his group’s research on microgravity experiments in aircraft flying parabolic trajectories to shed light on the true nature of the crystallization of helium at ultra-low temperatures
Non-volatile bistable memory circuits being developed at Tokyo Tech pave the way for highly energy-efficient CMOS logic systems
Developments in low power, high performance CMOS logic technology are vital to the future of microprocessors and system-on-chip (SoC) devices for personal computers, servers, and mobile/smart phones. Much of the processing in these computing systems is carried out using a volatile hierarchical memory system in which bistable circuits such as static random access memory (SRAM) and flip-flop (FF) play an essential role for fast data-access. However, the power to these bistable circuits cannot be switched off without losing their data. This inability to turn off power is a fundamental problem for energy consumption in CMOS logic systems
Biopolymers: Long polyester synthesized by E. coli
Ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyhydroxybutyrate (UHMW-PHB, Mw>3,000,000) synthesized by genetically engineered Escherichia coli is an environmentally friendly bioplastic material which can be processed into strong films or fibers.
Terahertz technology: The potential of nano-carbon
The terahertz (THz, 1012Hz) frequency region is between the microwave and visible range of frequencies. Notably, THz technology is in strong demand in basic research in areas such as biochemical spectroscopy, astronomy, and materials science as well as applications including environmental science, medicine, agriculture, and security.
Parallel Computing for Large-scale Semidefinite Programs
SemiDefinite Programs (SDP) are an extension of Linear Programs to the Hilbert space, and serve as a fundamental optimization tools for many practical applications ranging from combinatorial optimizations to quantum chemistry, and sensor network localization problems.
Nanogap electrodes: Self-terminating electroless gold plating for electronic nanodevices
Nanogap electrodes are a platform for single nanoscale electronic devices such as single-electron transistors (SETs) and molecular devices. They enable the harnessing of the electrical characteristics of many kinds of nanostructures such as nanoparticles and functional molecules by interconnecting these nanostructures with two terminals, thus for example, integrating nanometer-sized molecules into macroscopic electronic circuits.