Koike Laboratory has proposed and secured basic patents for a variety of innovations: world-leading graded index plastic optical fiber (GI-POF), highly scattered optical-transmission (HSOT) polymers, zero-birefringence polymers, and super-birefringent films. Utilizing these core technologies that are based on the essential principles of light, the Keio Photonics Research Institute (KPRI) is exploring possible applications of polymers in the field of photonics by elucidating their fundamental mechanisms, in an attempt to discover new functions. For example, to optimize the characteristics of ultra high-speed GI-POF (highly flexible, difficult to break, and easy to handle), we are engaged in a series of development processes, ranging from materials design to manufacturing techniques. The Koike Laboratory is not just improving the performance of different kinds of polymer components; it is also working on a “total design” for new and innovative, ultra high-definition (HD) liquid-crystal displays (LCDs).
The KPRI was established under the Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program), a research and development (R&D) body managed by the Cabinet Office that concluded in FY2014. In collaboration with 19 companies, KPRI has produced numerous innovations in the area of photonics polymer.Based on many novel results obtained by the FIRST Program, KPRI continues to build on these findings by vigorously pursuing R&D through a partnership of industry, academia, and government, under two programs launched by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)—the Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-driven R&D (A-STEP) starting in April 2014, and the JST Next Generation Technology Transfer Program (NexTEP), starting in April 2015. The research findings of KPRI are also being developed into new ideas for commercial applications, and are drawing keen interest from the world of industry. KPRI will continue to tackle such challenges.
As Japan prepares to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it has its sights set on the emerging era of 4K/8K video. Even with current 4K television technology, however, many technical issues must still be resolved—the need for very thick cables to transmit video data flow in real time, high levels of electromagnetic noise, and the need to develop transmission technologies capable of withstanding the high rates of data flow required for ultra HD video displays. In addition, we are half way to realizing displays capable of handling true 8K video. In addition to the broadcast television industry, real-color 8K displays hold promise for a wide range of other fields, for example the field of medicine, where accuracy is required, and the fields of design and art. By leveraging the world’s fastest GI-POF and new photonics polymers, we have developed a display that we believe can solve these problems and help to usher in the real-color 8K video era.
Yasuhiro Koike, Professor
1982, Ph.D. in Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Keio University 1989 – 1990, Research Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories 1997 –, Professor at Keio University 2010 –, Member of Board of Councillors, Keio University 2000 – 2005, Research Director of "Koike Photonics Polymer Project", Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) 2005 – 2011, Research Director of Koike Photonics Polymer Project, JST ERATO- Solution Oriented Research for Science and Technology (SORST)