Toppan's technical advances, with origins in platemaking and printing, have given rise to next-generation products. We have developed image processing, content processing and editing, database construction and administration, and other data processing system technologies; thin-film formation and coating technologies rooted in new material development; and microfabrication, semiconductor design and assembly, and optical design technologies that apply our expert knowledge of platemaking. Integrating these technologies, we will continue to turn out next-generation products that are core elements of progress in the 21st century.
SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) Chips
In pursuit of preventive and therapeutic medical treatment customized for individual patients, Toppan is working with RIKEN to develop a genetic analysis system that employs SNP chips. Together with RIKEN, Toppan, and other investors, have also established Riken Genesis Co., Ltd., which provides cutting-edge medical research support services. In 2009, Toppan provided a compact genetic analysis system, which it jointly developed, to a hospital affiliated with one of Thailand’s national universities. That hospital is now using the system and the genetic information of individuals to perform clinical research aimed at shedding light on how best to use certain AIDS medications.
Moving ahead, Toppan will focus on achieving advances in SNP chips and other life science businesses.
An SNP chip that requires only 90 minutes and a single drop of blood to perform SNP analysis.
22 nm Photomask
Together with IBM Corporation, Toppan is developing a photomask for the next-generation, 22 nm (1 nm = 1 millionth of a millimeter) semiconductor fabrication process. Building on the existing partnership, the two companies are aiming for the early establishment of the 22 nm process based on the manufacturing technology for 32 nm photomasks, which are already moving into the mass production phase.
A photomask is a negative for burning a finely detailed semiconductor circuit pattern onto a silicon wafer. Technology for creating even more finely detailed circuit patterns is under development.
Full-color Organic EL Displays
Toppan has developed the world’s first full-color organic EL display to use printing technology for separately laying down red, green, and blue coatings. In doing so, we have succeeded in forming an extremely thin light-emitting layer that, because it is of uniform thickness, makes high-precision patterning possible without an evaporation mask and allows simple scaling up of substrate sizes.
Active-matrix Full-color Organic EL Display Created with Printing Technology (Relief Printing)
Ball SAW Sensor
Toppan is working with Tohoku University and others to develop a pocketable gas analysis device. This work is being performed under a contract with the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The results of the development are being eagerly anticipated in energy and environment related fields such as hydrogen and natural gas analysis. Separately, Toppan is collaborating with the Tokyo Institute of Technology to increase the sensitivity of this technology and apply it in detecting odors. This sensor is capable of detecting hazardous gases before people can, and sensing ordinary odors with capability about the same as that of a human.
Ball SAW device expected to see uses in various applications.
Measurement module for Ball SAW devices under development.
RFID Crystagram Label Integrating a Hologram and Contactless IC Chip
The “RFID Crystagram” is the world’s first IC hologram label. Applied using technology by Hitachi Chemical, RFID Crystagrams incorporate Crystagram holograms created using proprietary Toppan technology and Hitachi’s “µ-chip”, one of the world’s smallest contactless IC chips. The latter use the aluminum deposition portion of the Crystagram as an antenna. A single RFID Crystagram works to help prevent product counterfeiting and manage production and logistics histories. In 2008, Toppan, Hitachi, and Hitachi Chemical became the first Japanese companies to win top honors in the Packaging Category of The Excellence in Holography Awards, sponsored by the IHMA.
Reading an RFID Crystagram
Fuel Cell Related Components
Fuel cells generate electricity by causing hydrogen and oxygen to react with one another. Fuel cells are more efficient than existing electricity generation technologies, produce only water as a byproduct, and, therefore, are seen as a promising next-generation energy source. The membrane electrode assembly (MEA), consisting of layers of catalysts and electrode membranes, is the heart of a fuel cell. Improving electricity generating performance requires the smooth movement of hydrogen gas, oxygen, protons, electrons, and water across the catalyst layers. Toward that end, Toppan is using its proprietary inking, coating, and laminating technologies to develop an ideal MEA.
The assembly of fuel cells