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Pneumococcal serotype replacement is an important issue after the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children. After the introduction of 13-valent PCV, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 12F (Sp12F) have increased in some countries; however, an outbreak of Sp12F has not reported in the post-13-valent PCV era. We experienced a local outbreak of Sp12F during March through May 2016 in Tsuruoka city, Japan after the introduction of 13-valent PCV in 2013. The IPD patients were two children and seven adults, three of whom died with a rapid disease progress. Although the clear transmission route was not determined, eight of the nine patients (89%) had close contact with children, which suggests that transmitted colonisation of Sp12F among children and adults might be the source of transmission. Continuous monitoring of IPDs, along with the determination of pneumococcal serotypes, is warranted in the post–13-valent PCV era. New IPD control strategies may be needed if this fatal outbreak continues to occur.
Gyrokinetic simulations of electromagnetic turbulence in magnetically confined torus plasmas including tokamak and heliotron/stellarator are reviewed. Numerical simulation of turbulence in finite beta plasmas is an important task for predicting the performance of fusion reactors and a great challenge in computational science due to multiple spatio-temporal scales related to electromagnetic ion and electron dynamics. The simulation becomes further challenging in non-axisymmetric plasmas. In finite beta plasmas, magnetic perturbation appears and influences some key mechanisms of turbulent transport, which include linear instability and zonal flow production. Linear analysis shows that the ion-temperature gradient (ITG) instability, which is essentially an electrostatic instability, is unstable at low beta and its growth rate is reduced by magnetic field line bending at finite beta. On the other hand, the kinetic ballooning mode (KBM), which is an electromagnetic instability, is destabilized at high beta. In addition, trapped electron modes (TEMs), electron temperature gradient (ETG) modes, and micro-tearing modes (MTMs) can be destabilized. These instabilities are classified into two categories: ballooning parity and tearing parity modes. These parities are mixed by nonlinear interactions, so that, for instance, the ITG mode excites tearing parity modes. In the nonlinear evolution, the zonal flow shear acts to regulate the ITG driven turbulence at low beta. On the other hand, at finite beta, interplay between the turbulence and zonal flows becomes complicated because the production of zonal flow is influenced by the finite beta effects. When the zonal flows are too weak, turbulence continues to grow beyond a physically relevant level of saturation in finite-beta tokamaks. Nonlinear mode coupling to stable modes can play a role in the saturation of finite beta ITG mode and KBM. Since there is a quadratic conserved quantity, evaluating nonlinear transfer of the conserved quantity from unstable modes to stable modes is useful for understanding the saturation mechanism of turbulence.
Organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) are the most promising candidates for flexible electronics owing to their flexible structures, the simplicity of processing large-area devices, and excellent compatibility with flexible substrates. To date, many studies have been reported that have aimed at developing a wide range of plastic electronics such as flexible displays, sensors. In this paper, we discuss our recent work, focusing on OTFT arrays and their application to flexible display. An active-matrix (AM) backplane using a low-temperature cross-linkable olefin-type polymer as the gatedielectric and an air-stable DNTT as the organic semiconductor (OSC) was successfully fabricated on a plastic substrate. The short-channel TFT array exhibited a high hole mobility of over 0.5 cm2/Vs, a low subthreshold slope of 0.31, and excellent environmental and operational stability. A 5-inch flexible OLED display exhibited a high luminescence of over 300 cd/m2 by driving of the DNTT-based OTFTs. Solution-processed OTFTs are also attracting considerable attention owing to both their simple manufacturing process and excellent transistor performance. We present a simple patterning process for a solution-processable OSC that can be used to develop a high-mobility short-channel TFT array. The OSC film was directly patterned on the confined active channel region by a simple lamination coating technique and the resulting TFTs showed a high mobility of up to 1.3 cm2/Vs. In the final section, we report on eco-friendly paper-based organic TFT array. A transparent cellulose nanofibers paper was firstly applied to a flexible substrate for the TFT backplane. A solution-processed TFT on the transparent paper exhibited a high mobility exceeding 1 cm2/Vs, good air stability, and excellent mechanical stability.
Recently, the issue of sustainable resource management has been increasingly recognized.
Economic growth of human activity is associated with a rapid rise in the use of resources
in our economy, and society has a potential environmental impact. The UNEP International
Resource Panel (IRP) pointed out the importance of decoupling resource use and negative
environmental impacts from economic activity (UNEP IRP 2011). In order to
optimize the material cycles and increase resource efficiency, material flow analysis
(MFA) is a powerful tool to understand the resource consumption and material cycle in the
national economy. In this study, we present the results of global material flow analysis
of nickel, which is one of the important resources for reducing energy use and
CO2 emission in
our society, and discuss the importance and possibility of controlling its resource
logistics. This study also introduces the challenge of identifying the land-use changes in
nickel mining sites by a remote-sensing technique, and knowledge to increase the resource
efficiency in metal recycling based on the metallurgical thermodynamic approach. The
results indicated the importance of recovery of nickel in recycling policies for
end-of-life (EoL) vehicles and constructions. Improvement in EoL sorting technologies and
implementation of designs for recycling/disassembly at the manufacturing phase are needed.
Possible solutions include development of sorting processes for steel scrap and
introduction of easier methods for identifying the composition of secondary resources.
Recovery of steel scrap with a high alloy content will reduce primary inputs of alloying
elements and contribute to more efficient resource use.
Preparation of the CaTiO3:Pr (CTO:Pr) phosphor thin film on PET substrate was investigated by using the excimer laser-assisted metal organic decomposition(ELAMOD) and photo reaction of nano-particles (PRNP) process. The effects of the substrate material, starting materials, and UV sources on photoluminescence (PL) were investigated. By using the BaTiO3(BTO) nano-particles buffer layer and the CTO: Pr nano-particles as a starting material, CTO: Pr thin film on the PET substrate was successfully obtained by using the KrF laser and excimer lamp irradiation at 25°C. It was found that excimer lamp irradiation is effective for improving the PL of the films.
Hexagonal ZnO was grown on hexagonal (001) sapphire substrate, then cubic La(Sr)MnO3(LSMO) was grown on ZnO underlayer by ion beam sputtering at substrate temperatures of 550-750°C to obtain double-layer of LSMO/ZnO. Out-of-plane (001) oriented ZnO was grown with in-plane orientation of [10-10](0001)ZnO//[11-20](0001)sapphire. Mixed phase of LSMO with out-of-plane (001), (110) and (111) orientations was grown on (001) ZnO usually. However each single phase of LSMO could be grown by controlling deposition conditions. The LSMO grains have their in-plane orientations of (110)LSMO //[10-10](0001)ZnO and (111)LSMO//[11-20](0001)ZnO.
The stability of elongated single- and multi-layered graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are investigated by molecular-dynamics simulation. In order that GNRs are to be modeled as nanobridges connecting two terminals of electronic devices, the short edges of the GNRs are constrained. The distances between the two constrained edges are gradually increased, and the GNRs are uniaxially strained. The energies and out-of-plane deformations of such uniaxially strained GNRs are examined. The energies of multi-layered GNRs will be lower than those of isolated GNRs because the surface areas of multi-layered GNRs are smaller than the total area of the isolated GNRs. Understanding the relationship between the out-of-plane deformations and strain will lead to the control of the ripple structures of GNRs.
The material properties of two ultra low-k organic polymers are characterized for copper interconnect integration. The k-values are 2.2-2.3 for both. Compared to OSG materials of similar k-values, these polymers have lower porosity and smaller pore size, achieved using selfassembled chemistry. Both materials demonstrate excellent resistance to plasma damage: no water uptake was detected after exposure to selected etching plasmas. This characteristic, combined with the small pore size and low porosity, results in the successful integration of the organic low-ks in 80 nm spacing with no significant increase in the integrated k-values.
It is found that higher open porosity in polymer A is accompanied by higher leakage current, which is not however linked to lower dielectric breakdown lifetimes.
The aim was to estimate the incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection in health-care workers (HCWs) in Japan. We repeated cross-sectional surveys of HCWs with QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT-G) in 2003, 2005 and 2007 at a hospital with tuberculosis (TB) wards, and 311 HCWs who underwent QFT-G testing two or three times were included in the study. Five HCWs (1·8%) converted from negative to positive. Incidence of new TB infection was estimated to be 0·6/100 person-years by the CDC's definition. Thirteen positive persons (41%) reverted from positive to negative. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified a significant association between QFT-G conversion and working in TB wards. The IFN-γ levels of all but two subjects with reverting or converting QFT-G results were close to the test's cut-off. The incidence of Mtb infection in HCWs at our hospital was higher than that estimated for the general population in Japan. Criteria for defining QFT-G conversion and reversion need further investigation considering the high proportion of reversion, as the incidence of infection would have changed if we had applied other definitions.
We have demonstrated a 5-inch flexible color liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light emitting display (OLED) driven by low-voltage operation organic TFT. In order to achieve high-quality and high-resolution moving images, OTFTs with high performances such as a high mobility, high ON/OFF ratio, low sub-threshold slope (SS) and low operating voltage, are developed. We fabricated pentacene-based low-voltage operation OTFT with a Ta2O5 gate dielectric prepared at a low temperature process. The resulting OTFT array showed a high mobility of 0.3-0.4 cm2/Vs, ON/OFF ratio over 107, VTH=2.7V, and low SS=0.3 V/decade. OTFTs with solution-processable materials such as fluoropolymer gate dielectric and liquid-crystalline semiconducting polymers, PBTTT, were also investigated. Electrical characteristics and stabilities of these devices will be discussed. In the final section, we will demonstrate OTFT-driven flexible displays. Both of the flexible LC device and the OLED device were successfully integrated on the pentacene-based OTFT arrays. Printing and lamination techniques were introduced to assemble the flexible LC device. Phosphorescent polymer materials, which can be patterned by ink-jet printing, were used for emitting layer of OLED. Color moving images were successively shown on the resulting 5-inch displays using an active-matrix driving technique of the OTFT at a low driving voltage of 15V.
An ITO film on an SiO2 substrate was prepared from spin-coated nano-particles using a simple thermal process and photo irradiation process. The effects of the excimer lamp and excimer laser on the resistivity of the film were investigated. When the film is 40 nm thick, the combined two-step irradiation by an excimer lamp and laser in N2 is effective for the preparation of the ITO film with a lower resistivity. Using the two-step irradiation and one-step KrF irradiation in N2 at room temperature, the resistivity of the ITO film was 5.94×10−4Ωcm. On the other hand, when using the thermal process, the resistivity of the film sintered at 500 °C in N2 was 4.10×10−3Ωcm. The differences in resistivity are discussed on the basis of the microstructure using SEM, XRD and Hall measurements.
Silver (Ag) doped Mg2Si1-xGex (x=0.1 to 0.4) samples were fabricated using a plasma activated sintering (PAS) method. The doping concentration of Ag was varied from 1 to 5 at.%. Undoped Mg2Si1-xGex exhibits n-type conductivity due to residual impurities in the Mg source material used and unintentionally process-induced impurities. The observed unstable behavior of the Seebeck coefficient of Ag-doped p-type Mg2Si1-xGex (x ≤ 0.3) in the region of 550 to 650 K, exhibiting a considerable drop in the value and occasional conduction type conversion, was correlated with the specific contaminants. For x∼0.4, the observed Seebeck coefficient varied from 0.2 mV/K at 823 K to 0.4 mV/K at room temperature, with no remarkable drop in the value with increasing temperature. An estimated ZT value of 5 at.% Ag doped Mg2Si0.6Ge0.4 was 0.18 at 844 K. It was found that both specific residual impurities and process-induced impurities affected the characteristics of the Seebeck coefficient of Mg2Si1-xGex.
Electrode materials consisting of Cu, Ti and Ni were formed on Bi-doped n-type Mg2Si by means of a monobloc plasma-activated sintering (PAS) technique. Due to the difference in thermal expansion coefficients between Ti and Mg2Si, rather high residual thermal stresses gave rise to the introduction of cracks, which were mainly located in the Mg2Si layer, when Ti was used as the electrode material. In the case of the Cu electrodes, monobloc sintering could not be performed in a reproducible manner because Cu melts abruptly and effuses at around 973K, which is 100 K lower than the sintering temperature that is required for Mg2Si of good crystalline quality. When compared with the results for Cu and Ti, the monobloc PAS process for Ni was both stable and reproducible. The room-temperature I-V characteristics of Ni electrodes were considered to be adequate for practical applications, with durable Mg2Si-electrode junction properties being realized at a practical operating temperature of 600 K with ΔT = 500 K. The highest open circuit voltage (VOC) observed was 41 mV at ΔT = 500 K (between 873 K and 373 K) for Ni electrodes fabricated using the monobloc PAS process. The voltage (V) and current (I) values with a 10 Ohm load were ∼ 48 mV and ∼ 2 mA at ΔT = 500 K.
Three-dimensional electron motion in a linearly polarized tightly focused laser field is numerically calculated. A high-intensity laser pulse focused on the free electrons in vacuum generates relativistic electron bunches whose length is shorter than the laser wavelength. The extremely short electron bunches with low-energy spread less than 1% are generated for a wide range of the laser parameters.
Direct numerical simulation of fully three-dimensional, compressible and nonlinear magnetohydrodynamic equations in the Large Helical Device is carried out in combination with the passive particle simulation. In the simulation, strong vortical motions are excited by the pressure-driven instability and form the mushroom-like structures of pressure. It is shown by the passive particles analysis that the fluid volumes around the resonant magnetic surfaces experience finite compressibility and toroidal deformation, which are both excited by the strong vortical motions. The passive particles simulation helps us to investigate local structures even for low Fourier wavenumber modes.
Growth of a Co/Cu/Co multilayer is investigated by molecular-dynamics simulation. The interactions between Co and Cu atoms are calculated in terms of the generic-embedded atom method potential. It is confirmed that two-dimensional island growth of Cu atoms on the Co substrate occurs in the simulations. The roughnesses of the surface and the interface are evaluated by means of the standard deviations of the heights of the surface and interface atoms. Intermixing atoms between the layers are also counted. We conclude that there exists an optimum combination of the incident energies of deposited Cu and Co atoms which minimizes both the roughness and intermixing of the interface.