Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Mitsuhiro Higashihata

8 Ultraviolet Lasing from Vertically-Aligned ZnO Nanowall Array

Authors: Masahiro Takahashi, Kosuke Harada, Shihomi Nakao, Mitsuhiro Higashihata, Hiroshi Ikenoue, Daisuke Nakamura, Tatsuo Okada


Zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of the light emitting materials in ultraviolet (UV) region. In addition, ZnO nanostructures are also attracting increasing research interest as building blocks for UV optoelectronic applications. We have succeeded in synthesizing vertically-aligned ZnO nanostructures by laser interference patterning, which is catalyst-free and non-contact technique. In this study, vertically-aligned ZnO nanowall arrays were synthesized using two-beam interference. The maximum height and average thickness of the ZnO nanowalls were about 4.5 µm and 200 nm, respectively. UV lasing from a piece of the ZnO nanowall was obtained under the third harmonic of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser excitation, and the estimated threshold power density for lasing was about 150 kW/cm2. Furthermore, UV lasing from the vertically-aligned ZnO nanowall was also achieved. The results indicate that ZnO nanowalls can be applied to random laser.

Keywords: zinc oxide, nanowall, interference laser, UV lasing

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7 Hydrogen Embrittlement Properties of the Hot Stamped Carbon Steels

Authors: Mitsuhiro Okayasu, Lele Yang, Koji Shimotsu


The effects of microstructural characteristics on the mechanical and hydrogen embrittlement properties of 1,800MPa grade hot stamping carbon steel were investigated experimentally. The tensile strength increased with increasing the hot stamping temperature until around 921°C, but that decreased with increasing the temperature in more than 921°C due to the increment of the size of lath martensite and prior austenite. With the hot stamping process, internal strain was slightly created in the sample, which led to the slight increment of the hardness value although no clear change of the microstructural formation was detected. Severity of hydrogen embrittlement was investigated using the hot stamped carbon steels after the immersion in a hydrogen gas, and that was directly attributed to the infiltration of the hydrogen into their grain boundaries. The high strength carbon steel with tiny lath martensite microstructure could make severe hydrogen brittleness as the hydrogen was strongly penetrated in the grain boundaries in the hydrogen gas for a month. Because of weak embrittlement for the as-received carbon (ferrite and pearlite), hydrogen embrittlement is caused by the high internal strain and high dislocation density. The hydrogen embrittlement for carbon steel is attributed to amount of the hydrogen immersed in-between grain boundaries, which is caused by the dislocation density and internal strain.

Keywords: hydrogen embrittlement, hot stamping process, carbon steel, mechanical property

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6 Domain Switching Characteristics of Lead Zirconate Titanate Piezoelectric Ceramic

Authors: Mitsuhiro Okayasu


To better understand the lattice characteristics of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics, the lattice orientations and domain-switching characteristics have been directly examined during loading and unloading using various experimental techniques. Upon loading, the PZT ceramics are fractured linear and nonlinearly during the compressive loading process. The strain characteristics of the PZT ceramic were directly affected by both the lattice and domain switching strain. Due to the piezoelectric ceramic, electrical activity of lightning-like behavior occurs in the PZT ceramics, which attributed to the severe domain-switching leading to weak piezoelectric property. The characteristics of domain-switching and reverse switching are detected during the loading and unloading processes. The amount of domain-switching depends on the grain, due to different stress levels. In addition, two patterns of 90˚ domain-switching systems are characterized, namely (i) 90˚ turn about the tetragonal c-axis and (ii) 90˚ rotation of the tetragonal a-axis. In this case, PZT ceramic was loaded by the thermal stress at 80°C. Extent of domain switching is related to the direction of c-axis of the tetragonal structure, e.g., that axis, orientated close to the loading direction, makes severe domain switching. It is considered that there is 90˚ domain switching, but in actual, the angle of domain switching is less than 90˚, e.g., 85.4° ~ 90.0°. In situ TEM observation of the domain switching characteristics of PZT ceramic has been conducted with increasing the sample temperature from 25°C to 300°C, and the domain switching like behavior is directly observed from the lattice image, where the severe domain switching occurs less than 100°C.

Keywords: PZT, lead zirconate titanate, piezoelectric ceramic, domain switching, material property

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5 A Study of Electric Generation Characteristics for Thin-Film Piezoelectric PbZrTiO₃ Ceramic Plate during the Static and Cyclic Loading Conditions

Authors: Tsukasa Ogawa, Mitsuhiro Okayasu


To examine the generation properties of electric power for piezoelectric (PbZrTiO3) ceramic plates, the electric-power generation characteristics were examined experimentally and numerically during cyclic bending under various loading fixtures with different contact condition, i.e., point and area contact. In the low applied loading condition between 10 and 50 N, increasing the load-contact area on the piezoelectric ceramic led to a nonlinear decrease in the generated voltage. Decreasing contact area, including the point contact, basically enhanced the generated voltage, although the voltage saturated during loading when the contact area is less than ϕ5 mm, which was attributed to the high strain status, resulting in the material failure, i.e., high stress concentration. In this case, severe plastic deformation and the domain switching were dominated failure modes in the ceramic. From this approach, it is clear that the applied load became more larger (50 ~100 N), larger contact area (ϕ10 ~ ϕ20 mm) became advantageous for power generation. Based upon this cyclic loading was carried out to investigate the fatigue characteristics of the piezoelectric ceramic late. For all contact conditions, electric voltage dropped in the beginning of the cyclic loading, although the higher electric generation was stable in the further cyclic loading for the contact area of ϕ10 ~ ϕ20 mm. In constant, further decrement of electric generation occurred for the point contact condition, and the low electric voltage was generated for the larger contact condition.

Keywords: electric power generation, piezoelectric ceramic, lead zirconate titanate ceramic, loading conditions

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4 Developing Value Chain of Synthetic Methane for Net-zero Carbon City Gas Supply in Japan

Authors: Ryota Kuzuki, Mitsuhiro Kohara, Noboru Kizuki, Satoshi Yoshida, Hidetaka Hirai, Yuta Nezasa


About fifty years have passed since Japan's gas supply industry became the first in the world to switch from coal and oil to LNG as a city gas feedstock. Since the Japanese government target of net-zero carbon emission in 2050 was announced in October 2020, it has now entered a new era of challenges to commit to the requirement for decarbonization. This paper describes the situation that synthetic methane, produced from renewable energy-derived hydrogen and recycled carbon, is a promising national policy of transition toward net-zero society. In November 2020, the Japan Gas Association announced the 'Carbon Neutral Challenge 2050' as a vision to contribute to the decarbonization of society by converting the city gas supply to carbon neutral. The key technologies is methanation. This paper shows that methanation is a realistic solution to contribute to the decarbonization of the whole country at a lower social cost, utilizing the supply chain that already exists, from LNG plants to burner chips. The challenges during the transition period (2030-2050), as CO2 captured from exhaust of thermal power plants and industrial factories are expected to be used, it is proposed that a system of guarantee of origin (GO) for H2 and CO2 should be established and harmonize international rules for calculating and allocating greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain, a platform is also needed to manage tracking information on certified environmental values.

Keywords: synthetic methane, recycled carbon fuels, methanation, transition period, environmental value transfer platform

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3 Preparation and Properties of Self-Healing Polyurethanes Utilizing the Host-Guest Interaction between Cyclodextrin and Adamantane Moieties

Authors: Kaito Sugane, Mitsuhiro Shibata


Self-healing polymers have attracted attention because their physical damage and cracks can be effectively repaired, thereby extending the lifetime of the materials. Self-healing polymers using host-guest interaction have the advantage that they are quickly repaired under mild temperature conditions when compared with self-healing polymer using dynamic covalent bonds such as Diels-Alder (DA)/retro-DA and disulfide metathesis reactions. Especially, it is known that hydrogels utilizing the host-guest interaction between cyclodextrin and various guest molecules are repeatedly self-repaired at room temperature. However, most of the works deal with hydrogels, and little attention has been paid for thermosetting resins as polyurethane, epoxy and unsaturated polyester resins. In this study, polyetherurethane networks (PUN-CD-Ads) incorporating cyclodextrin and adamantane moieties were prepared by the crosslinking reactions of β-cyclodextrin (CD), 1-adamantanol (AdOH), glycerol ethoxylate (GCE) and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), and thermal, mechanical and self-healing properties of the polymer network films were investigated. Our attention was focused on the influences of molar ratio of CD/AdOH, GCE/CD and OH/NCO on the properties. The FT-IR, and gel fraction analysis revealed that the urethanization reaction smoothly progress to form polyurethane networks. When two cut pieces of the films were contacted at the cross-section at room temperature for 30 seconds, the two pieces adhered to produce a self-healed film. Especially, the PUN-CD-Ad prepared at GCE/CD = 5/1, CD/AdOH = 1/1, and OH/NCO = 1/1 film exhibited the highest healing efficiency for tensile strength. Most of the PUN-CD-Ads were successfully self-healed at room temperature.

Keywords: host-guest interaction, network polymer, polyurethane, self-healing

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2 Sugar-Induced Stabilization Effect of Protein Structure

Authors: Mitsuhiro Hirai, Satoshi Ajito, Nobutaka Shimizu, Noriyuki Igarashi, Hiroki Iwase, Shinichi Takata


Sugars and polyols are known to be bioprotectants preventing such as protein denaturation and enzyme deactivation and widely used as a nontoxic additive in various industrial and medical products. The mechanism of their protective actions has been explained by specific bindings between biological components and additives, changes in solvent viscosities, and surface tension and free energy changes upon transfer of those components into additive solutions. On the other hand, some organisms having tolerances against extreme environment produce stress proteins and/or accumulate sugars in cells, which is called cryptobiosis. In particular, trehalose has been drawing attention relevant to cryptobiosis under external stress such as high or low temperature, drying, osmotic pressure, and so on. The function of cryptobiosis by trehalose has been explained relevant to the restriction of the intra-and/or-inter-molecular movement by vitrification or from the replacement of water molecule by trehalose. Previous results suggest that the structure and interaction between sugar and water are a key determinant for understanding cryptobiosis. Recently, we have shown direct evidence that the protein hydration (solvation) and structural stability against chemical and thermal denaturation significantly depend on sugar species and glycerol. Sugar and glycerol molecules tend to be preferentially or weakly excluded from the protein surface and preserved the native protein hydration shell. Due to the protective action of the protein hydration shell by those molecules, the protein structure is stabilized against chemical (guanidinium chloride) and thermal denaturation. The protective action depends on sugar species. To understand the above trend and difference in detail, it is essentially important to clarify the characteristics of solutions containing those additives. In this study, by using wide-angle X-ray scattering technique covering a wide spatial region (~3-120 Å), we have clarified structures of sugar solutions with the concentration from 5% w/w to 65% w/w. The sugars measured in the present study were monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, mannose) and disaccharides (sucrose, trehalose, maltose). Due to observed scattering data with a wide spatial resolution, we have succeeded in obtaining information on the internal structure of individual sugar molecules and on the correlation between them. Every sugar gradually shortened the average inter-molecular distance as the concentration increased. The inter-molecular interaction between sugar molecules was essentially showed an exclusive tendency for every sugar, which appeared as the presence of a repulsive correlation hole. This trend was more weakly seen for trehalose compared to other sugars. The intermolecular distance and spread of individual molecule clearly showed the dependence of sugar species. We will discuss the relation between the characteristic of sugar solution and its protective action of biological materials.

Keywords: hydration, protein, sugar, X-ray scattering

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1 A Technology of Hot Stamping and Welding of Carbon Reinforced Plastic Sheets Using High Electric Resistance

Authors: Tomofumi Kubota, Mitsuhiro Okayasu


In recent years, environmental problems and energy problems typified by global warming are intensifying, and transportation devices are required to reduce the weight of structural materials from the viewpoint of strengthening fuel efficiency regulations and energy saving. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) used in this research is attracting attention as a structural material to replace metallic materials. Among them, thermoplastic CFRP is expected to expand its application range in terms of recyclability and cost. High formability and weldability of the unidirectional CFRP sheets conducted by a proposed hot stamping process were proposed, in which the carbon fiber reinforced plastic sheets are heated by a designed technique. In this case, the CFRP sheets are heated by the high electric voltage applied through carbon fibers. In addition, the electric voltage was controlled by the area ratio of exposed carbon fiber on the sample surfaces. The lower exposed carbon fiber on the sample surface makes high electric resistance leading to the high sample temperature. In this case, the CFRP sheets can be heated to more than 150 °C. With the sample heating, the stamping and welding technologies can be carried out. By changing the sample temperature, the suitable stamping condition can be detected. Moreover, the proper welding connection of the CFRP sheets was proposed. In this study, we propose a fusion bonding technique using thermoplasticity, high current flow, and heating caused by electrical resistance. This technology uses the principle of resistance spot welding. In particular, the relationship between the carbon fiber exposure rate and the electrical resistance value that affect the bonding strength is investigated. In this approach, the mechanical connection using rivet is also conducted to make a comparison of the severity of welding. The change of connecting strength is reflected by the fracture mechanism. The low and high connecting strength are obtained for the separation of two CFRP sheets and fractured inside the CFRP sheet, respectively. In addition to the two fracture modes, micro-cracks in CFRP are also detected. This approach also includes mechanical connections using rivets to compare the severity of the welds. The change in bond strength is reflected by the destruction mechanism. Low and high bond strengths were obtained to separate the two CFRP sheets, each broken inside the CFRP sheets. In addition to the two failure modes, micro cracks in CFRP are also detected. In this research, from the relationship between the surface carbon fiber ratio and the electrical resistance value, it was found that different carbon fiber ratios had similar electrical resistance values. Therefore, we investigated which of carbon fiber and resin is more influential to bonding strength. As a result, the lower the carbon fiber ratio, the higher the bonding strength. And this is 50% better than the conventional average strength. This can be evaluated by observing whether the fracture mode is interface fracture or internal fracture.

Keywords: CFRP, hot stamping, weliding, deforamtion, mechanical property

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