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A "switch" to increase starch accumulation in algae

A brighter future for renewable energy and materials

05-Nov-2018

Results from a collaborative study by Tokyo Tech and Tohoku University, Japan, raise prospects for large-scale production of algae-derived starch, a valuable bioresource for biofuels and other renewable materials. Such bio-based products have the potential to replace fossil fuels and contribute ...

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Simple, mass production of giant vesicles using a porous silicone material

01-Nov-2018

A technique to generate large amounts of giant vesicle (liposome) dispersion has been developed. The technique involves adsorbing a lipid into a silicone porous material resembling a "marshmallow-like gel" and then squeezing it out like a sponge by impregnating a buffer solution. This work was ...

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No assembly required

Self-assembling silicone-based polymers

24-Oct-2018

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology, RIKEN and Tohoku University have developed a silicone polymer chain that can self-assemble into a 3D periodic structure. They achieved this by using their recently reported self-assembling triptycene molecules to modify the ends of the polymer ...

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Controlling organic semiconductor band gaps by electron-acceptor fluorination

A fluorinated electron-acceptor unit for high performance organic semiconductors

19-Oct-2018

Organic semiconductor materials have the potential to be used in innovative applications such as transparent and flexible devices, and their low cost makes their potential use particularly attractive. The properties of organic semiconductor materials can be tuned by controlling their structure at ...

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Speeding up electrons in semiconductors

19-Oct-2018

Researchers from Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) have sped up the movement of electrons in organic semiconductor films by two to three orders of magnitude. The speedier electronics could lead to improved solar ...

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How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry

18-Sep-2018

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have theoretically demonstrated that special tetrahedron nanostructures composed of certain metals have a higher degree of symmetry than the geometrical symmetry of spherical atoms. Nanomaterials with unique and unprecedented electrical and magnetic ...

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Golden sandwich could make the world more sustainable

12-Sep-2018

Scientists have developed a photoelectrode that can harvest 85 percent of visible light in a 30 nanometers-thin semiconductor layer between gold layers, converting light energy 11 times more efficiently than previous methods. In the pursuit of realizing a sustainable society, there is an ...

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Methane to syngas catalyst: two for the price of one

10-Sep-2018

Hokkaido University researchers have created an improved catalyst for the conversion of methane gas into syngas, a precursor for liquid fuels and fundamental chemicals. Syngas, also known as synthesis gas, is a mixture made primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen and is used to manufacture ...

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Harnessing energy from algae

An enzyme that could help accelerate biofuel production

21-Aug-2018

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have honed in on an enzyme belonging to the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) family as a promising target for increasing biofuel production from the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Algae are known to store up large amounts of oils called ...

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Smart Fluorescent Dyes

Modulating photo- and electroluminescence in a stimuli-responsive molecular dye

17-Aug-2018

Controlling the excited electronic states in luminescent systems remains a challenge in the development of fluorescent and phosphorescent dyes. Now, scientists in Japan have developed a unique organic fluorophore that changes its emission color without loss of efficiency when externally ...

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