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Open research facilities

In Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, there are 32 public research institutes (about one-third of all public research institutes in Japan), and a variety of research facilities and environments are available for various types of study. The TIA core organizations - AIST, NIMS, University of Tsukuba, and KEK - possess arrays of leading-edge facilities and equipment vital to perform various nanotechnology procedures, and they are available for external users through various forms of services. University of Tokyo joined the network of these open research facilities in FY2016.

In addition to the fee-charging services above, Photon Factory (PF) at KEK offers shared facility use to university researchers, etc. for free. Each core organization of TIA holds training sessions to explain how to use equipment at the open research facilities, thereby promoting efficient R&D through active use of the equipment. Some of the facilities are also used in the MEXT Nanotechnology Platform Project, further promoting shared use.



Advanced equipment and forms of services

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The four core organizations in Tsukuba lie in an oval-shaped area, which extends 15 km north to south. The area holds 15 open research facilities with approximately 500 devices in total. These devices range from fundamental equipment to special-purpose facilities, which can achieve diverse purposes, spanning from academic research to the development of industrial technology, including microfabrication processing equipment, advanced measurement and analysis equipment, experimental facilities using synchrotron radiation of the Photon Factory (PF), devices available to cosmic radiation tolerance test, and facilities for the syntheses of molecules and substances.

The open facilities are available through various forms of services, including technical consultation, technical surrogate, use of equipment, and collaborative research. They are available either free of charge, assuming that the results will be published, or for a fee, under a strict non-disclosure agreement that the results will not be published. The Photon Factory (PF) at the KEK offers shared use of the facility to university researchers for free. Some facilities are part of the MEXT Nanotechnology Platform Project, which promotes shared use.



Seminars and human resource development

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TIA offers various seminars, schools, and training courses to develop human resources. In this way, human resources are expected to play active roles in various fields, from academic research to the development of industrial technologies and R&D in cutting-edge nanoscale processing, measurement, and analysis. Various courses showcase the advantages and distinctive features of each organization, such as a practical training using equipment in the SCR of AIST or the trial measurement and processing using ion beam (free of charge) offered by the University of Tsukuba.



Database of Open Research Facilities in Tsukuba
http://oft.tsukuba-sogotokku.jp/

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This database was created in FY2013 as a part of the Tsukuba International Strategic Zone projects. Currently, the database marks the registration of more than 300 pieces of shared use equipment belonging to four core organizations of TIA based in the Tsukuba area (AIST, NIMS, University of Tsukuba, and KEK), and researchers can search for equipment that meets their purposes. By conducting keyword search, users can find the locations and specifications of equipment, and how to apply to use it. The database can also be used to search for equipment in terms of what material will be analyzed, measured, or processed, and what method will be used.。

 

Facilities of the core organizations

 

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