Research Strengths

At YNU, some 600 researchers conduct research in various fields and create and apply knowledge as an “international focal point of practical scholarship” that can contribute to the welfare of people in Japan and beyond, as well as to the sustainable development of society.
In addition to individual research, to promote collaborative research between researchers at YNU and at other institutions inside and outside Japan, units for focused researches have been formed at the Institute of Advanced Sciences and outstanding research projects have been recognized by the Research Initiative and Promotion Organization as YNU Research Centers. Through this framework, focus is being placed on research in fields with high societal demand, academic fields, fields that are highly ranked socially or academically, and pioneering fields.
Furthermore, YNU has signed academic exchange agreements with over 140 universities around the world and about 300 researchers are accepted to YNU from universities outside of Japan every year.

1Dominant fields

YNU is in the top ten in Japan in the following fields for total number of selected projects of “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI)”*1 in FY2018-2021.*2

*1 “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI)” are competitive research funds that are intended to significantly develop all scientific research (research based on the free ideas of the researcher), from basic to applied research in all fields, ranging from the humanities and the social sciences to the natural sciences. The grants provide financial support for creative and pioneering research after peer review.

*2 Limited only to fields with a total number of projects newly selected for “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)”, “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)” and “Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists” is four or more.

Research Field Rank Number of newly selected projects Total allocated budget (in thousand yen)
Japanese language education-related 4 6 33,410
Civil law-related 10 5 34,450
Economic theory-related 7 4 16,510
Economic statistics-related 2 6 23,660
Economic history-related 5 4 15,210
Business administration-related 8 14 107,120
Commerce-related 6 4 39,260
Accounting-related 7 6 20,670
Special needs education-related 7 6 38,350
Educational technology-related 8 5 30,940
Basic mathematics-related 2 5 25,090
Mechanics of materials and materials-related 6 6 65,260
Manufacturing and production engineering-related 5 4 29,900
Power engineering-related 6 6 52,260
Electron device and electronic equipment-related 8 5 34,060
Architectural planning and city planning-related 10 4 25,870
Aerospace engineering-related 6 6 52,000
Marine engineering-related 9 9 102,570
Safety engineering-related 3 5 42,900
Material processing and microstructure control-related 5 7 57,720
Optical engineering and photon science-related 5 7 97,110
Soft computing-related 6 4 43,290
Environmental policy and social systems-related 9 4 15,080

2Distinguished research

At YNU, the following fields and programs were selected for “Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)”* and “Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A)” in the past five years.

* “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)” are research projects in the area of basic research, which is the primary type of research project for “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research”, that are set to significantly develop creative and pioneering research even further based on past research findings by having the research period required to conduct stable research and securing adequate research funds needed for carrying out the research. In principle, it consists of large-scale research funds ranging from about 50 million yen to 200 million yen per project. Only about 90 new projects are selected in all of Japan each year.

Research Categories Research Field Name Position and Affiliation of the time Program / Contents
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Nano/micro science-related TAKEDA Jun Professor, Faculty of Engineering Development of Phase-Controlled Near Field Spectroscopy with Extremely High Spatiotemporal Resolution
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Nano/micro science-related KOSAKA Hideo Professor, Faculty of Engineering Universal quantum media conversion in diamond quantum storage
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Electrical and electronic engineering-related TAKEMURA Yasushi Professor, Faculty of Engineering Elucidation of magnetic particle dynamics for diagnostic and therapeutic applications
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Electrical and electronic engineering-related YOSHIKAWA Nobuyuki Professor, Faculty of Engineering Creation of extremely energy-efficient integrated circuit technology beyond the thermodynamic limit based on reversible quantum flux circuits
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Electrical and electronic engineering-related KAWAMURA Atsuo Professor, Faculty of Engineering Realization of a sustainable green society through 99.9% efficient electric power conversion
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Information science, computer engineering-related OCHIAI Hideki Professor, Faculty of Engineering A Coding Design Paradigm for IoT Network with Scalable Realization of High Reliability and Low Latency
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Inorganic materials chemistry, energy-related chemistry-related YABUUCHI Naoaki Professor, Faculty of Engineering Study on Factors Affecting Reversibility of Anionic Redox Reaction for Rechargeable Battery Applications
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Electrical and electronic engineering-related FUJIMOTO Yasutaka Professor, Faculty of Engineering Highly energy-regenerative bilateral actuators
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Electrical and electronic engineering-related MIZUNO Yosuke Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering 光ファイバ型相関領域反射計による歪・温度の高速分布測定:極限性能の追究と実用化
(Provisional translation: High-speed distributed strain and temperature sensing based on fiber-optic correlation-domain reflectometry: demonstration of ultimate performance and practical applications)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Applied condensed matter physics-related ICHIYANAGI Yuko Professor, Faculty of Engineering Preparation of super spinglass magnetic nanoparticles for nano theranostics
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Social systems engineering, safety engineering, disaster prevention engineering-related MIYAKE Atsumi Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences Creation of innovative energetic materials and precise control of ignition and burning based on ultra high speed reaction theory
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Civil engineering-related MAEKAWA Koichi Professor, Faculty of Urban Innovation Durability Mechanics of Cementitious Composites and Structural Performance under Broadband Environments
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Mechanics of materials, production engineering, design engineering-related OTA Hiroki Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering ストレッチャブルシステムの社会実装に向けた超柔軟材料のR2R加工プロセスの開発
(Provisional translation: R2R fabrication process of ultra-flexible materials for stretchable systems)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Applied condensed matter physics-related SEKIGUCHI Koji Professor, Faculty of Engineering マグノニック機能創発のための電圧効果と凝縮効果の研究
(Provisional translation: Development of magnonic functionality using magnon voltage control method and magnon condensation)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Civil engineering-related KIKUMOTO Mamoru Associate Professor, Faculty of Urban Innovation Simulation of the life of embankments from the construction process through the long-term in-service period to deformation and failure
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Philosophy, art-related MUROI Hisashi Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education Research on the Aesthetics of Pop-culture in the age of non-mass media
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Human informatics-related OKAJIMA Katsunori Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences 内因性光感受性網膜神経節細胞と杆体の色知覚への寄与の定式化と五元測色学の構築
(Provisonal translation: Formularization of five-dimensional colorimetry with taking into account contribution of Melanopsin and rod cells to color perception)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Inorganic materials chemistry, energy-related chemistry-related DOKKO Kaoru Professor, Faculty of Engineering 高速なアルカリ金属イオンホッピング伝導と高速電気化学反応を実現する電解液設計
(Provisional translation: Liquid electrolyte formulation for rapid Li-ion hopping conduction and fast electrochemical reactions)
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Applied physics and engineering-related HONG Feng-Lei Professor, Faculty of Engineering 狭線幅かつ高安定な周波数安定化レーザーに関する研究
(Provisional translation: Study on frequency-stabilized lasers with a narrow linewidth and high frequency stability)(Provisional translation: Study on frequency-stabilized lasers with a narrow linewidth and high frequency stability)
Details
List of Notable Projects Selected for Competitive Research Funds

Moonshot Research and Development Program  Selected R&D Projects

※The Moonshot Research and Development Program promotes challenging research and development projects for ambitious government-set “moonshot” goals to attract people with the aim of resolving important social issues, such as super-aging populations and climate change. For each goal, a program director (PD) is appointed to oversee multiple projects, and under the PD, top-class researchers in Japan and abroad are selected as project managers (PM) in charge of proposing and promoting R&D projects.

Moonshot Goal R&D Project PM Position and Affiliation
#6 Realization of a fault-tolerant universal quantum computer that will revolutionize economy, industry, and security by 2050. Development of Quantum Interfaces for Building Quantum Computer Networks KOSAKA Hideo Professor, Faculty of Engineering
#8 Realization of a society safe from the threat of extreme winds and rains by controlling and modifying the weather by 2050. Typhoon control research aiming for a safe and prosperous society FUDEYASU Hironori Professor, College of Education

3Research papers that impact the world

According to the “Web of Science”*1, papers of YNU published in the past five years have been highly cited around the world in the following fields.

*1 “Web of Science” is one of the world's leading scientific citation databases. With more than 21,000 journals from around the world dating back to 1900 (as of November 2019), it enables one to carry out cross-discipline searches on influential scientific journals and important publications and assess citation patterns.

Research Field “Web of Science” Documents CNCI*2 Times Cited % Documents in Top 1% % Documents in Top 10%
Physics, Multidisciplinary 88 1.69 1,073 2.27% 18.18%
Ecology 88 1.68 1,334 2.27% 15.91%
Astronomy & Astrophysics 87 1.52 969 1.15% 13.79%
Instruments & Instrumentation 75 1.51 402 1.33% 5.33%
Physics, Particles & Fields 81 1.40 952 1.23% 8.64%
Computer Science, Theory & Methods 71 1.29 336 1.41% 8.45%
Environmental Sciences 117 1.11 1322 0.85% 5.98%
Optics 166 1.08 747 0.60% 6.63%
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence 57 0.99 340 1.75% 10.53%

*2 “CNCI” stands for Category Normalized Citation Impact. Fields with a CNCI of 1 or higher are considered higher than the global average.

4Recipients of YNU Outstanding Researcher Awards

To raise the motivation to carry out research in each researcher, raise the university's research capacity, and foster outstanding researchers who will be responsible for the future's scientific research, YNU established the “Yokohama National University Outstanding Researcher Awards” in AY 2011 to honor researchers who have achieved outstanding research results. The following are the award recipients for AY 2021.

Award Name Position and Affiliation of the time Research Field
Best Research Award KONNO Norio Professor, Faculty of Engineering Basic mathematics-related
MAEKAWA Koichi Professor, Faculty of Urban Innovation Structure engineering and earthquake engineering-related
Technological Progress Award SHIMA Keisuke Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering Rehabilitation science-related
Society Contribution Award INUI Kumiko Professor, Faculty of Urban Innovation Architectural Design
Young Researcher Award OTA Hiroki Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering Soft material, Flexible sensor
MIZUNO Yosuke Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering Measurementengineering-related
SHIRAKAWA Shinichi Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences Intelligent informatics-related
List of past recipients
www.ripo.ynu.ac.jp/about/ynu_research/award/ (in Japanese)

5Notable award recipients

YNU faculty have received the following notable awards in the past five years.

Award Awarding Body Recipient Affiliation of the time
Fellow IEEE BABA Toshihiko Faculty of Engineering
18th (FY2021) JSPS Prize Japan Society for the Promotion of Science MORI Akira Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences
AY2021 Person of Cultural Merit Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology KARA Juro Former Professor of the College of Education and Human Sciences
2021 METI Minister’s Award for Industrial Standardization Contribution Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry SAKAI Shinsuke IAS Center for Creation of Symbiosis Society with Risk
AY2021 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology KEBUKAWA Yoko Faculty of Engineering
AY2021 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology SHIMA Keisuke Faculty of Engineering
AY2021 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology NISHIJIMA Yoshiaki Faculty of Engineering
AY2021 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology MIZUNO Yosuke Faculty of Engineering
AY2021 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology TAKEUCHI Naoki
AY2020 Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award Agency of Cultural Affairs KADOKURA Masami Professor Emeritus
AY2020 Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award Agency of Cultural Affairs MIYASAKA Motohiro Professor Emeritus
AY2020 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology OTA Hiroki Faculty of Engineering
AY2020 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology UENO Kazuhide Faculty of Engineering
AY2019 Minister of Land, Infrastrucure, Transport and Tourism Hamaguchi Award (Research on Tsunamis and Storm Surges) Minitry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism SHIBAYAMA Tomoya Professor Emeritus
Congress of the Senate Commendation Congress of the Senate of the Republic of Paraguay FUJIKAKE Yoko Faculty of Urban Innovation
AY2019 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology KITAMURA Keiichi Faculty of Engineering
AY2019 Minister of Environment Commendation for Contributors to Environmental Conservation Minister of the Environment FUJIE Koichi The Institute of Advanced Sciences
Japan Academy Prize Japan Academy FUJINO Yozo Institute of Advanced Sciences
67th Yokohama Cultural Award Culture and Arts Encouragement Award City of Yokohama FUJIWARA Teppei Faculty of Urban Innovation
AY2017 Industrial Standardization Award, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry KOMEYA Katsutoshi Professor Emeritus
AY 2017 Foreign Minister's Award Ministry of Foreign Affairs CANNON Tara International Strategy Organization
AY 2017 Science and Technology Prize for Research, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology WATANABE Masayoshi Faculty of Engineering

Notable International Press Releases

This section highlights 10 notable news released by YNU on an international scientific news site “EurekAlert!” in FY2019-2021. You can also see other news released by YNU in “International Press Releases” on the university’s website.

Test spares animal subjects, identifies chemicals that may cause birth defects in humans

Results published online in iScience on February 18, 2022

Prof. Junji Fukuda (Faculty of Engineering), Dr. Yusuke Okubo (a senior researcher at the National Institute of Health Sciences), and their team established human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) reporter cell system capable of continuously monitoring fibroblast growth factor signal disruptions. Using the system, the team successfully detected developmental toxicants such as thalidomide and its derivatives with higher accuracy.

EurekAlert!
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Shining a light on synthetic dimensions

Results published online in Science Advances on January 28, 2022

Prof. Toshihiko Baba (Faculty of Engineering) and Dr. Armandas Balčytis (currently at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), in collaboration with Tohoku University, Keio University, and the University of Tokyo, have successfully demonstrated for the first time a unique optical phenomenon in a frequency sequence called a “synthetic dimension” by using the global-standard photonic integration platform “silicon photonics.” This is an important first step toward creating a topological phenomenon using synthetic dimensions, and suggests that topological photonics can go beyond mere physics research to become a new element applied to various optical components. The pioneering work on the new concept of electrical conductivity in topological insulators was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. The concept can also be applied to light propagation in periodic structures, and may even be applicable to the behavior of light frequency sequences as shown in this research.

EurekAlert!
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Flawed diamonds may provide perfect interface for quantum computers

Results published online in Communications Physics on December 15, 2021

Paving the Way to a Noise-Resilient Quantum Internet

Prof. Hideo Kosaka (Faculty of Engineering), Assistant Prof. Yuhei Sekiguchi (Institute of Advanced Sciences) and their team have successfully generated the world’s first geometric quantum entanglement between electrons and spontaneously emitted photons by controlling electrons in diamonds in a zero magnetic field environment. The group demonstrated the formation of quantum entanglement by spontaneous emission between the geometric degrees of freedom of electrons in a diamond nitrogen-vacancy center (NV center) formed in a zero magnetic field and the polarization degrees of freedom of photons with similar geometric properties. This achievement will enable quantum entanglement between remote quantum memories serving as the key to quantum relays generated by transferring emitted photons to nucleons in remote diamonds based on quantum teleportation. This approach offers high noise resilience, with precise mode matching of photons in time, frequency, and space no longer required; it also provides excellent compatibility with quantum devices made from dissimilar materials, such as superconductors, because no magnetic field is applied. The group’s achievement will open up new possibilities as a key technology for the quantum internet serving as communication infrastructure connecting quantum devices, including quantum computers, simulators, and sensors.

EurekAlert!
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Waste hop stem in the beer industry upcycled into cellulose nanofibers

Results published online in ACS Agricultural Science & Technology on June 10, 2021

Upcycling Agricultural Waste into High Value-added Eco-friendly Materials

Associate Prof. Izuru Kawamura (Faculty of Engineering), Ms. Noriko Kanai (a first-year doctoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Life Science, Graduate School of Engineering Science and a research fellow (DC1) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), Kosuke Nishimura, manager of Tono Mirai Zukuri College, and their team have successfully isolated TEMPO (2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical)-mediated oxidation fibrillated cellulose nanofibers from waste hop stems. The group also clarified the structure of hop stem-derived cellulose nanofibers by utilizing advanced precision analytical equipment at YNU’s Instrumental Analysis Center. This upcycling approach enables high value-added eco-friendly materials to be extracted from discarded hop stems, and shows potential as a new cellulose nanofiber resource. The research group’s efforts to address waste management issues are also contributing to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

EurekAlert!
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Tree diversity may save the forest: Advocating for biodiversity to mitigate climate change

Results published online in Nature Climate Change on June 4, 2021

An international research group led by Prof. Akira S. Mori (Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences) has found that conserving biodiversity to mitigate climate change can help absorb more carbon and further stabilize the climate. The group consisting of researchers from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, YNU, and ten overseas universities and research institutes published a study quantifying the interdependence of biodiversity and climate change. The researchers also assessed the economic benefits of promoting both climate stabilization and biodiversity conservation, and stressed the importance of focusing on their positive relationship (stabilization feedback) for future international policies.

EurekAlert!
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Wearable accelerometer and vibrator 'thimble' could reduce falls amongst seniors

Results published online in Scientific Reports on April 1, 2021

Developing a Device that Improves Balance Control Using the Light-Touch Phenomenon

Associate Prof. Keisuke Shima (Faculty of Engineering) and his team, in collaboration with the Prefectural University of Hiroshima, has developed a new device that helps improve balance control using the phenomenon known as “light touch.” The light-touch phenomenon is characterized by a person’s ability to maintain a standing position with less risk of falling when lightly touching something like a curtain or piece of paper with one’s fingertip. First in the world to discover that the phenomenon can be reproduced by transmitting the reaction force of touching to the fingertips through vibration, the group proposed and developed a compact fall-prevention device as a completely new type of standing and walking aid. Experiments conducted by the group confirm that the device can reduce postural sway while standing, with the outcome expected to contribute to preventing falls in the everyday life of seniors, for example.

EurekAlert!
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Augmented reality visor makes cake taste moister, more delicious

Results published in Scientific Reports on September 30, 2021

Prof. Katsunori Okajima (Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences) and his team has developed an augmented reality (AR) system that allows them to manipulate the standard deviation of luminance distribution, the way that light bounces off an object, of foods which can affect not only the expected moistness and deliciousness from the visual perception but also the actual texture and taste.

The appearance of foods is known to affect their texture and taste in a qualitative way, but this study demonstrates a method to quantify the effects and opens up the possibility of its use as a tool to pursue optimal visual designs. The team plans to advance image processing technologies capable of modulating the textures of various foods, while using its food modification system to clarify brain mechanisms related to cross-modal effects.

EurekAlert!
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First wearable device can monitor jaundice-causing bilirubin and vitals in newborns

Results published online in Science Advances on March 3, 2021

Associate Prof. Hiroki Ohta (Faculty of Engineering), Mr. Tsuyoshi Inamori (Graduate School of Engineering Science) and their team, in collaboration with researchers of Yokohama City University, have developed the first wearable devices to precisely monitor jaundice, a yellowing of the skin caused by elevated bilirubin levels in the blood that can cause severe medical conditions in newborns. Held to the baby's forehead by a silicone interface, the device has a lens capable of efficiently transmitting lights to neonatal skin via battery-powered light-emitting diodes, commonly known as LEDs.

In the future, the researchers plan to develop a combined treatment approach that pairs a wearable bilirubinometer with a phototherapy device to optimize the amount and duration of light therapy based on continuous measurements of bilirubin levels.

EurekAlert!
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Extremely energy efficient microprocessor developed using superconductors

Results published online in IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits on December 15, 2020

Associate Prof. Christopher Ayala and Prof. Nobuyuki Yoshikawa (Institute of Advanced Sciences) and their team have developed the world's first adiabatic superconductor microprocessor called MANA (Monolithic Adiabatic iNtegration Architecture), using superconductor devices called the adiabatic quantum-flux-parametron (AQFP) that are about 80 times more energy-efficient than the state-of-the-art semiconductor devices found in the microprocessors of today's high-performance computing systems.

Having proven the concept of this superconductor chip architecture, they plan to optimize the chip and determine the chip's scalability and speed post optimization as well as to examine how AQFPs could assist in other computing applications such as neuromorphic computing hardware for artificial intelligence as well as quantum computing applications.

EurekAlert!
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New electrode material developed to increase charge capacity of lithium batteries

Results published online in Materials Today on March 25, 2020

Prof. Naoaki Yabuuchi (Faculty of Engineering) and his team have developed a new nano-sized electrode comprising manganese and titanium ions to make lithium batteries not only cheaper, but longer lasting with higher energy density. This finding is expected to contribute to the reduction of battery cost and an increase in the practical reality of such applications as electric vehicles and more.

EurekAlert!
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Admissions Information

To learn more about the entrance examinations for the undergraduate and graduate programs (including research students), international student exchange (JOY Program), and summer program, please check the Admissions Information.