During April to June of 2010 I went on sabbatical to Japan. The primary laboratory I visited was NTT basic research laboratory (NTT BRL). The laboratory is located in Atsugi City to the west of Tokyo and is a fundamental physics, materials and optical science laboratory, and part of NTT group (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation). NTT specialise in information and communication technology, and BRL is looking to explore and develop potential technologies for the future in this field. My visit was paid for by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NiCT) foreign researcher invitation program.

As a specialist fabricator of nanoscale devices with a heavy bias on focused ion beam technology and nanomanipulation I was invited to discuss how these technologies might fit in with BRL’s already extensive fabrication facilities. During my stay I also undertook several industrial to manufacturers of electron and ion optical instruments, and a couple of academic visits to Tsukuba city and Gifu.

Manufacturers visited

Elionix A leading manufacturer of electron beam lithography, and instruments for nanotechnology.

SII NT A part of Seiko, and manufacturer of Ion beam instruments.

JEOL Huge company manufacturing electron microscopes, medical instruments and electron beam lithography tools (to name just a few activities). Shown below is the original JEOL electron microscope on display at the factory. 5nm resolution in 1948!


Hitachi One of the worlds leading brand names, making everything from Electron microscopes to domestic electronics and even trains.