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World-changing single-walled carbon nanotubes
Key points of single-walled carbon nanotube business
  1. Zeon is the first company in the world to commercialize single-walled carbon nanotubes
  2. We have enabled unprecedented properties by mixing with other materials such as rubber and metals.
  3. There are wide applications, and the technology holds the promise of changing the world.

Development Background

Carbon nanotubes, discovered by Sumio Iijima in 1991, are categorized into single-walled nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-walled nanotubes (MWCNTs). MWCNTs are relatively easy to produce and have been developed in many applications both in Japan and overseas. On the other hand, there has been little development of SWCNTs since they are difficult to mass produce.
Zeon Corporation has developed the SWCNTs “Super Growth Method” discovered by Dr. Kenji Hata’s team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and has set up mass production technology and commercialized ZEONANO™. This work has been supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Features of SWCNT
  • (1)Length
    Up to mm range. Easy to combine with other substances, making them stronger
  • (2)Large Surface Area
    Large surface areas allow a greater quantity of electric charge to be stored
  • (3)High Purity
    Chemically stable since the material contains very few residues of metal catalysts
The three features of materials with SWCNT added
  • (1)High strength
  • (2)High thermal conductivity
  • (3)High electrical conductivity

Possible Applications

SWCNTs made with the Super Growth Method exhibit many superior properties. We will research diverse applications in various fields utilizing these properties.

Possible Applications

Examples of applications utilizing the properties of SWCNTs

1. Super Capacitors

Realizing more compact capacitors with larger capacity and longer life by combining with electrode materials and utilizing the length, large surface area and high purity of SWCNTs

2. Rechargeable Battery Electrodes

Use in battery electrodes and active materials utilizing the large surface area and electrical conductivity of SWCNTs

3. Power Cables

Combine with metals. Manufacture high-efficiency power cables utilizing the high electrical conductivity of SWCNTs

4. Heat-resistant, Seismic Isolation Rubber Bearings for Buildings (Housing materials)

Use of materials combined with rubber or metal in seismic isolation rubber and wires utilizing the high strength of SWCNTs.

5. Heat dissipators for Power Semiconductors (Interface thermal conductivity materials)

Use in heat sources and heat sink connecting materials in ICs utilizing the high thermal conductivity of SWCNTs.

6. Alternative for Silicon Semiconductors (Non-volatile memory)

Next-generation memory with lower power consumption and high capacity exceeding flash memory and DRAM utilizing the high electrical conductivity of SWCNTs.

Offer products that can be easily handled as construction materials

SWCNTs are a powder form, but as a result of Zeon’s proprietary technology, can be uniformly combined with rubber, water or paints/coatings. We will offer products in a form that is easy to handle according to the application.


Sheet form
Sheet form

Safety evaluations and independent safety management

Zeon has evaluated the impact of SWCNTs on people and the environment together with internal and external research institutions as we have worked towards mass production.

1)Safety confirmation

We conducted various safety tests for known health problems. To test for mesothelioma, we applied SWCNTs directly to mesothelial cells in mouse lungs and confirmed that there is no occurrence of mesothelioma. In addition, multiple tests indicated no occurrence of cancer.
Further, we will continue to investigate to ensure that we take appropriate measures against health problems that are not yet known.

2)Newly created environmental standards

We have created new environmental standards (allowable concentration in work environments) to ensure safe working practices based on various tests. We have provided our environmental test data to organizations such as the OECD and ISO, and they are using it.

In addition, we are constantly providing the latest safety data and proceeding with independent safety management initiatives together with customers, government institutions and regional authorities.

Using SWCNTs to benefit society
Kohei Arakawa
Zeon Nano Technology Co., Ltd.

SWCNTs are innovative materials with superior properties that are sure to form a wide range of major industries. Zeon's mission is to use SWCNT technology effectively and supply it to as many customers as possible. In concrete terms, in addition to application development, we are progressing with cost reduction to enable use in mass-produced products such as cars.
Rather than using them on their own, SWCNTs exhibit various properties when combined with other materials such as rubber or metal. Rubber is Zeon’s core technology, and we possess advanced technology in rubber based on many years of experience. We will utilize this to efficiently develop applications and bring to market various products in a wide range of fields in future. SWCNTs have the potential to overturn traditional thought in science so please keep an eye on our future research and development.
Recognition by outside organizations

The 45th Japan Industrial Technology Grand Prize
Joint winners with AIST of the Reviewer’s Prize

Joint winners with AIST of the 2016 Minister of MEXT Award, Department of Science and Technology in the field of science and technology

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