Research & Development Initiatives

Creation of new businesses

To become an ideal company as declared in our long-term Grand Vision 2020, we have determined the need to establish five new business units. The target areas for our new businesses are electronic & information materials, medical & health care, and energy & environment. Our corporate planning and research departments work together with the corresponding business departments and group companies, and they are now taking steps to develop new markets and innovative products in these areas.

Electronic & information materials segment

In the electronic & information materials segment, we are actively developing compounding materials and functional films utilizing seeds of cured resin. Regarding compounding materials, we have succeeded in developing our own raw materials, including alicyclic epoxy and special acrylic monomers. With these materials, we have been able to produce compounds and resin composites as base products. In addition, by applying bonding and sealing techniques to these base products, we have been able to develop new products such as LED/semiconductor encapsulants, semiconductor mounting materials, materials for lithium-ion batteries and solar cells, materials for power semiconductors and printable electronics, and highly heat-resistant resins for optical lenses. Looking to the future of the LED field, we have determined that LEDs providing blue and white light will trigger greater market demand than will conventional LEDs. Therefore, we are now considering the use of epoxy-based materials as encapsulants for blue and white LEDs because they exhibit performance superior to that of conventional silicon-based materials. In addition, we have developed new silicon encapsulants offering superior sealing performance and higher heat resistance than conventional silicon-based encapsulants. Moreover, we can offer sealing materials with refractive indexes that meet customer needs.
As for functional films, we have proposed a new material in various fields by applying the functions to the films through plus our unique surface treatment technology and original materials with our coating and film technologies. Specifically, in cooperation with our subsidiary, Daicel Value Coating Ltd., we are developing and manufacturing a diverse range of functional films, such as resistive-type and capacitive-type films for touch panels, light conductive films for mobile phones, highly heat-resistant and flexible transparent films, and vapor-proof transparent high-barrier films.

Medical and health care segment

We are also developing products towards the customers in the field of medical and health care, taking advantage of our three technology accumulations on biotechnology, cellulosic technology, and organic synthesis technology.
The characteristic of biotechnologies is “reassurance, safe, Environmentally friendly”. We have been taking advantage of these characteristics to develop the materials for cosmetics and toiletries that contact with human body. Moreover, we will develop supplements and health foods. As one of the topics of this field, we established the production technology of EQUOL. It is metabolism ingredient of soy isoflavone, and brings good effects for health.
We have realized biotechnology-based mass production and are now promoting market development. In addition, for a pharmaceutical application, taking advantage of the characteristics of cellulosic derivatives, we have marketed “GRANFILLER-D”, a pre-mixed excipient used in the manufacture of orally disintegrating tablets (OD Tablets) which can be ingested safely and conveniently without water. Further improvement and development are under way. This excipient has the conflicting characteristics required in OD Tablets: formability to form a solid tablet, and disintegration to melt quickly in the mouth. It is therefore expected to be adaptable to drugs, which was difficult with conventional technologies. OD Tablet excipients are now being developed further not only for pharmaceutical applications but also as supplements.
Also, through taking advantage of the unique nature of polyglycerol derivatives obtained from glycidol which is our original raw material and we are engaged in the development of cosmetic ingredients and surfactant. In addition, toward the customers in the field of health care cosmetics, we are actively introduced its related technologies and products of the whole of Daicel group.

Searching for innovative next-generation businesses

Our “Advanced Materials Planning Department” has assumed the role in continuous search and planning to identify technologies and products capable of creating next-generation businesses from a mid- to long-term viewpoint. It is prepared for prompt prototyping and verification with the “Advanced Materials Research Center” directly under its management.

Developing technologies for environmental and resource conservation

Our Corporate Research Department as well as the Research Department of our Organic Chemical Products Company have collaborated on developing technology to devise substitutes for raw materials and processes in order to help solve issues related to the environment and resources. For example, these departments are examining C3/C4 chemical manufacturing technology that uses a solid catalyst technology or biocatalyst technology to manufacture these chemicals from recyclable resources such as bio-ethanol, bio-glycerin (crude glycerin, a byproduct of the bio-diesel production process) and biomass.
During development of drug intermediates and components, we developed an enzyme function improvement technology. As a result, we are now using an advanced enzyme function improvement technology to manufacture chemical products safely and securely. We are also involved in developing bio-refinery technology to enable the production of general-purpose chemical products from non-fossil fuels.

Support for developing and enhancing our businesses

Departments of our internal companies are taking the lead in carrying out research and development to enhance and develop our existing businesses, and they collaborate with our corporate divisions and Group companies as needed.

Cellulose derivatives

We are now developing new applications for water-soluble cellulose, cellulose derivatives and others.

Organic synthesis products

In the area of bulk commodity chemicals, we are now studying the use of substitute biological raw materials and effective use of CO2. For our functional products, we have developed a special polymerization monomer using our organic synthesis technology. We are now mixing this uniquely developed monomer into raw materials, such as our own special alicyclic epoxy compound, to produce resins imparted with heat resistance, optical properties and other characteristics appropriate to their intended use. In addition, we are pursuing R&D activities to create new businesses. To ensure the timely launch of these new businesses, the people involved in these projects remain in close communication with the marketing and manufacturing divisions handling our existing functional products.

Chiral column business

Chiral column fillers are indispensable for analysis and manufacturing of optically active drug intermediates. We intend to continue developing new chiral column fillers and chiral columns, offering world-leading solutions. When we develop drug intermediates, we also develop enzymes as converters. As a result, we are now selling these enzymes and enzyme kits and providing enzyme reaction services. In addition, by using life science technologies, we are developing safe and harmless chemicals and functional raw materials and are preparing to offer them to our customers.

Pyrotechnic products

To build on our expertise in pyrotechnology, we are developing new materials and conducting research on devices capable of effectively using instantaneous explosive outputs. As for new devices, we are pushing forward with application to the security, disaster prevention and medical device areas.
In the area of new materials, in corporation with our Corporate Research Department is studying production methods and the application of the nano-sized diamonds generated in the high-heat and high-pressure environment of a gunpowder explosion.
Compared with conventional diamonds, the nano-sized diamonds we are currently studying are easily dispersed. Therefore, they can be incorporated in functional materials such as precision abrasives and in applied materials in the fields of electronics, medicine, and optics.