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November 16, 2009

Success in Producing “Ni Fine Particles”through a New Process Using Microwaves
Smooth commercialization of a university developed seed technology through industry-academic liaison
Samples to be offered to users

School/Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University

Nippon Steel Chemical Co., Ltd.

Iwatani Corporation


The Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University (Osaka University - Nippon Steel Chemical (Microwave Chemistry) Joint Research Chair), the Nippon Steel Chemical Co., Ltd., and the Iwatani Corporation, have jointly studied the mass production and commercialization of nanometer-sized Ni fine particles (1 nanometer = 1/1000000000 of a meter) using a “Ni fine particle production process using microwaves”, a seed technology developed by Osaka University. They have succeeded in establishing a medium volume production system. Samples will be manufactured by Nippon Steel Chemical, and supplied to prospective users by Iwatani.


Microwaves are familiar to us as users of microwave ovens. Microwave heating is characterized by a uniform and rapid heating of molecules of an object from the inside, unlike traditional heating of objects from the outside.


Our latest research was based on a seed technology called “nano-sized Ni fine particle production processes using a new microwave control system” developed by Osaka University. Using this technology, Ni fine particles less than 100 nanometers in size, with sharp particle size distribution, can be achieved.


The research group focused on expanding the scale of production from laboratory level, and succeeded in establishing a medium-volume production system which allows us to supply samples on a large scale. Applications being discussed at present include electronic component electrodes.


Two types of sample, with different properties and particle sizes under 100 nanometers, will be prepared. Based on the results of sample evaluation, we will increase production capacity with a view to fully fledged commercialization.