Kan-Ene Topics! 環エネTOPICS!


Hiroaki MUTA

Position:  Professor
Degree:   Ph.D. in Engineering
Laboratory:       Energy and Environmental Materials
to Laboratory Homepage


Research on low-toxicity and low-cost thermoelectric materials

Thermoelectric conversion is a direct energy conversion between heat and electricity. The conversion is based on the Seebeck effect, one of the thermoelectric phenomena. The effect can be seen in all materials, including, for example, the 100-yen coin in your pocket. However, the conversion efficiency is not sufficient for the Ni-Cu alloy. Thus, we are exploring alternative high-performance, low-toxic, and low-cost thermoelectric materials.

Development of future nuclear fuels

A high level of security is required in nuclear power plants, while a reduction in the radioactive waste is crucial to reducing the environmental load over a long period of time. To address these issues, a combination of reactors of different types and new nuclear fuels may be an option. In our laboratory, we are attempting to develop nuclear fuels that will be suitable for future nuclear systems.


  1. H. Muta, T. Kawano, M. Uno, Y. Ohishi, K. Kurosaki, S. Yamanaka, Lattice parameter and thermal conductivity of Th1-xMxO2-y (M = Y, La, Ce, Nd, Gd and U), Journal of Nuclear Materials, 434(1-3), 124-128 (2013).
  2. H. Muta, Y. Etoh, Y. Ohishi, K. Kurosaki, S. Yamanaka, Ab initio study of hydrogen diffusion in zirconium oxide, Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 49(5), 544-550 (2012).
  3. H. Muta, Kanemitsu, Takanori, K. Kurosaki, S. Yamanaka, High-temperature thermoelectric properties of Nb-doped MNiSn (M=Ti, Zr) half-Heusler compound, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 469(1-2), 50-55 (2009).


  1. 原子力研究システム開発事業 平成17年度採択分 若手表彰, 放電プラズマ焼結による革新炉燃料ペレット製造に関する研究開発, 2011年.
  2. 第5回日本熱電学会講演奨励賞, RuAl2ベース化合物の熱電特性, 2008年.
  3. 第1回日本熱電学会講演奨励賞, SrTiO3の熱電特性に及ぼす酸素欠陥効果, 2004年.