Research

Inventions and Breakthroughs

Over the nearly one hundred years since RIKEN's foundation in 1917, RIKEN researchers have pushed the limits of scientific knowledge to make groundbreaking new discoveries and develop innovative new technologies. The pages below offer a sample of these many inventions and breakthroughs, which span the spectrum of science including everything from sports drinks, to vitamins, to fundamental physical theories.

VAAM
VAAM
Invented by RIKEN Special Chief Scientist Dr. Takashi Abe, VAAM is a popular sports drink that helps the body burn fat by reproducing synthetically the same Vespa amino acid mixture contained in hornet saliva.
Element 113
Element 113
By firing zinc atoms at a bismuth film using the RIKEN Linear Accelerator, Dr. Kosuke Morita and his team were able to identify the 113th element.
Nishina Zao
Nishina Zao
Using the RIKEN Ring Cyclotron at the RI Beam Factory (RIBF), Dr. Tomoko Abe, in collaboration with the Japan Flower Culture (JFC) Ishii Farm, induced mutations in Gyoikou cherry trees and created a new strain, the first plant to be registered by RIKEN under the Seeds and Seedlings Law.
Renormalization Theory
Renormalization Theory
Shinichiro Tomonaga, a Nobel prize-winning physicist who joined RIKEN's Nishina Laboratory in 1932, played a seminal role in the development of renormalization theory. The new theory was key to the development of quantum electrodynamics and has become a central technique in quantum field theory.
Adosoru
Adosoru
RIKEN played a central role in the creation of the first air conditioner with its invention of Adosoru, a substance that absorbs moisture and promotes drying, made from a special type of clay that is highly porous and absorbent.
RIKEN Vitamin
Vitamin B1
Japanese researcher Umetaro Suzuki, the father of vitamin research in Japan, was the earliest to identify a vitamin with his discovery in 1910 of aberic acid, today known as vitamin B1.
KS Steel
KS Steel
Physicist Kotaro Honda, who opened his RIKEN-Honda Laboratory at Tohoku Imperial University in 1922, invented KS Steel, a permanent magnetic steel with three times the magnetic resistance of tungsten steel.