Development of state-of-the-art crystals and technologies at the university and their social implementation through academic startups
University-launched startups are expected to create products and services based on university research results, and are expected to contribute to the convenience and happiness of civil society through social implementation. The situation surrounding university-launched startups and the business models of our startups will be introduced. As examples of social implementation, the development and practical application of two types of garnet scintillators, as well as the development of the OCCC method, will be presented. The Pr:LuAG scintillator developed in our laboratory has excellent properties: it emits several times more light than that of BGO, has a decay time of about 20 ns, and has a higher energy resolution than other PET scintillators. 4-inch diameter bulk single crystal growth technology has been established and put to practical use in Furukawa Co. Breast cancer PET systems equipped with Pr:LuAG were commercialized by Furukawa ScintiTech (now Mirai Imaging) and are used in several hospitals including Nippon Medical School. Ce:GAGG (LY 58,000 ph/MeV, ΔE 4.5%, scintillation decay time 90 ns) was commercialized by C&A and is used in real-time dosimeters and Compton cameras. We have also developed the OCCC method as an oxide crystal production method that does not require a precious metal crucible, and have succeeded in producing GAGG and β-Ga2O3 by melt growth in air. This method is expected to contribute to the improvement of crystal quality by increasing the degree of freedom of atmosphere, which has been restricted to prevent oxidation of noble metals. Therefore, it has attracted much attention not only for its cost-effectiveness in eliminating the use of precious metals in the fabrication process, but also as a method for producing high-quality crystals.