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Go-to Guy for Ultra-Pure hBN Crystals: Interview with WPI-MANA Researcher

24 Marzo 2021

TSUKUBA, Japan, March 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Takashi Taniguchi is renowned for high-pressure synthesis of hBN (hexagonal boron nitride) crystals, a key material in nanotechnology research. His ultra-pure hBN crystals have the highest quality available, and they have been attracting the attention of researchers around the world, contributing to a variety of research into two-dimensional materials in the fields of quantum physics and quantum devices, including graphene research.


Q. You're world-famous for your hBN crystals. Why are you the go-to guy for this material?

"Mostly it's just a result of luck and good circumstances, especially having access to our beautiful 30,000-ton hydraulic press. But more importantly, for more than 10 years I have had the freedom to concentrate on this work, to keep the momentum and direction, using very nice facilities. Being able to monopolize the equipment is a huge benefit -- such a situation is not easy to come by.

I have been studying single crystal growth under high pressure for more than 20 years now. High-purity crystals can be obtained using facilities like these, including our press, and I have sole use of them. Also, as a NIMS researcher, I have a big advantage over university people -- no lecturing responsibilities -- and that frees up a lot of time, which I can put into my research. Of course, this is a national lab. So there are some big projects I participate in. But there's also freedom to do other things of interest."

Q. What are the crystals used for?

"They're mostly used by researchers studying graphene. As you probably know, graphene is a monolayer of graphite, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. It conducts electricity and heat with impressive efficiency. So it is being used in quantum transport research, and we expect lots of applications, including anti-corrosion coatings, sensors, electronics, flexible displays, solar panels, DNA sequencing, drug delivery -- all kinds of things...."

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