Tokyo Tech News

Kiyotaka Aikawa and Shinsuke Miyajima selected for "Support for Tokyo-tech Advanced Researchers [STAR]" in FY2019


Published: April 8, 2020

Associate Professor Kiyotaka Aikawa of the Deptpartment of Physics, School of Science, and Associate Professor Shinsuke Miyajima of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering have been selected for "Support for Tokyo-tech Advanced Researchers" (STAR) grants in FY 2019.

The STAR grant is awarded each year to promising young researchers who grapple with research topics that have the potential to become national projects in the future. Other recipients may include those who have achieved distinguished results in the fundamental sciences. Through the STAR grant, Tokyo Tech seeks to support up-and-coming 'shining stars' in the next generation of researchers.

For this 7th time, two "STARS" were selected based on consultation by the President and the Director, Office of Research and Innovation.

Research overview and Researcher Comment

Kiyotaka Aikawa
Associate Professor, School of Science

Associate Professor Kiyotaka Aikawa

Research overview: Exploration of macroscopic quantum physics with single nanoparticles in vacuum

Quantum mechanics, which was established in the early 20th century, is today used in a variety of fields including electronics, measurements, and material developments. The essence of quantum mechanics is that particles exhibit a wave-like nature, and it has been verified that such a behavior is true of microscopic particles such as electrons, atoms, and photons. By contrast, macroscopic objects that surround us do not exhibit quantum behaviors, and the reason is not trivial. By studying the quantum mechanical nature of the motion of particles levitated in vacuum, we will elucidate how quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects differs from quantum mechanics for microscopic particles. Another important goal of us is to utilize the new system of levitated particles for society through high-sensitivity sensing.

Researcher Comment

I am very honored to have been selected for "Support for Tokyo-tech Advanced Researchers [STAR]" and am grateful to those who selected me and those who have donated to the Tokyo Tech Fund. I am working on a fundamental and challenging theme in the field of quantum mechanics, which has attracted great attention recently, but in the end, I believe it will become an important issue not only for basic science but also for application. It is my hope to use this support to create new trends.

Shinsuke Miyajima
Associate Professor, School of Engineering

Associate Professor Shinsuke Miyajima

Research overview: Low-cost and high efficiency solar cells and optical power converter for optical wireless power transmission

Further reduction of the production cost of solar cell is one of the important issues for photovoltaic power generation. The production process of high-efficiency silicon solar cells requires highly explosive and toxic gases. One of our targets is to establish a low-cost process without the use of these gases. In addition, we have also been investigating a hybrid solar cells which consist of a widegap perovskite solar cell and a silicon solar cell for further improvement of conversion efficiency. By applying our experiences in solar cell research, we are also investigating high-efficiency optical power converters to realize optical wireless power transmission (OWPT) system, a new wireless power transmission technology.

Researcher Comment

Thank you very much for selecting me as a recipient of “Support for Tokyo-tech Advanced Researchers [STAR]. I believe that our previous works accomplished with many students and collaborators led to this support. I would like to tackle even more challenging research topics with new students using this support.

About the STAR grant


Funded by the Tokyo Tech Fund, this program aims to provide large-scale support to bright young researchers who create new value based on various unique research achievements in the fundamental sciences. This objective is in line with the Institute's mid-term goals and contributes to enhancing research capacity.

Selection process

Based on their career and research achievements, recipients are selected by the president and the head of the Office of Research and Innovation. Individuals cannot apply for this grant.

Selection criteria

  • Young researchers engaged in a project which contributes to strategic policies on the national level
  • Young researchers who demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic research


Early-career researchers with a title of associate professor or below (in principle under the age of 40)

School of Science

School of Science —Exploring the Truth and Creating Knowledge—
Information on School of Science inaugurated in April 2016

School of Science

Schools, Departments, and Institute for Liberal Artsouter

School of Engineering

School of Engineering
—Creating New Industries and Advancing Civilization—

Information on School of Engineering inaugurated in April 2016

School of Engineering

Schools, Departments, and Institute for Liberal Artsouter

Tokyo Tech Fund

This project is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund


Research Planning Group 1, Research Planning Division, Research Promotion Department, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tel +81-3-5734-7688