2020 Buessem Award Recipient
Dr. Akira Ando retired in 2020 as a senior principal researcher of Murata Mfg. Co., Ltd., Japan, after 30 years of research with the company. His expertise is in the research and development of functional materials.
Dr. Ando received his B.S. in Solid State Physics from Hiroshima University in 1983, following which he began his career as a Research Engineer at Murata. He spent 1989-1990 as a Visiting Scientist at Penn State University, and 1990-1991 as a Visiting Scientist at Kyoto University. Working his way up to Chief Research Engineer in 1991, then R&D Manager in 1994, he also received his doctoral degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2003. At this time, he became General Manager of R&D at Murata, a position in which he served through 2016, first managing the functional material group, (novel material, multilayered PTC thermistor, Lithium ion battery) (2003-2005); he then managed materials production (2005-2008); then, in his final role as General R&D Manager, he oversaw novel functional materials and fundamentals of materials for MLCC (2008-2016). He served as Senior Principal Researcher at the New Technology Center at Murata from 2016 until his retirement in 2020, with emphasis again on novel functional materials, ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, magnetic, and electrochemical materials, as well as the addition of some biology-related materials. Since retiring from Murata, Dr. Ando is now a guest professor at Osaka Prefecture University, where he is trying to develop new applications of functional materials. He hopes to start new material researches at a scientific R&D laboratory in Japan.
Over Dr. Ando’s career at Murata Mfg., he has developed various kinds of multilayered piezoelectric components, such as piezoelectric ink-jet head actuators, piezoelectric buzzers, piezoelectric transformers for LCD back light inverters, resonators for clock generators, and so on. These developed components have been used in practical applications for many years, owing to their small size and their low energy consumption, as well as their excellent characteristics. The developed multilayered piezoelectric resonator is especially important from the viewpoint of elastic wave propagation science. It utilizes periodic structures to show unique energy trapping characteristics, which cannot be achieved by a single uniform plate structure. It seems to be one of the earliest embodiments of “Meta-materials”. He also developed lead free piezoelectric ceramic materials for resonator applications. He clarified good applicability of Bismuth Layer Structured Ferroelectrics (BLSF) to piezoelectric resonator applications and presented his work at IEEE 10th ISAF(1998). It was one of the first reports in the world about lead free piezoelectric ceramics for practical resonator applications (Proc. IEEE-UFFC 10th ISAF). Later, he developed multilayered PTC thermistors using BaTiO 3 based ferroelectric semiconductor materials, the first in the world. It has been widely used as current control devices for USB, lithium ion battery packs, and so on. He also revealed unique properties of textured piezoelectric ceramics. Excellent temperature characteristics and superior high-power characteristics were shown for textured ceramics of Bismuth Layer Structured ferroelectrics. He gave a presentation of superior piezoelectric characteristics of alkali niobate based ceramics at an international conference (IUMRS-ICAM2003). It was one of the earliest reports which indicated importance of alkali niobate based materials as lead free piezoelectric ceramics.
He has conducted various R&D, such as dielectric/ferroelectric materials, thermoelectric materials, Lithium ion battery materials, nonlinear resistor materials, and their fabricating process technologies as a general manager of Murata Mfg. Co. Studies on reliabilities of dielectric materials for Multi Layered Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC) are ones of his eminent works. Mean Time to Failure of MLCC becomes 10 times longer by using the developed materials that Dr. Ando’s group processed. Technologies impacted by Dr. Ando’s research are Capacitors, Passive Components, Piezoelectric Actuating, Filtering and Sensing Devices, Integrated Modules and Systems, Electronic Devices at High Temperatures, Energy related devices, and Environmentally benign technologies. He is an author / coauthor of over 90 articles and holds over 200 patents. He received the Richard Fulrath award from the American Ceramic Society (same class as Clive Randall) (2002), and the Academic Award from the Ceramic Society of Japan (2009). He is a senior member of IEEE and received the Kansai Chapter Medal of IEEE (2011). He also received the Award for Distinguished Achievements in Development from Japan Society of Powder and Powder Metellurgy (2019), and the Electroceramic Bridge Building award from the US-Japan Seminar on Dielectric and Piezoelectric Ceramics (2019).
The Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics will present the 2020 Wilhelm R. Buessem Award to Akira Ando at the Buessem Award Dinner in October 2021, during the CDP Fall 2021 Meeting in State College, Pennsylvania.