Nikon and Sharp Announce Joint Development Agreement

July 20, 2021

Tokyo - Nikon Corporation (Nikon) and Sharp Corporation (President: Katsuaki Nomura, head office: Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, hereinafter “Sharp”) today announced a joint development agreement to accelerate innovation in the implementation technology of biomimetics. This agreement enables the combination of Sharp's knowledge of “Nature Technology”, used in its home appliances, and Nikon's high-precision microfabrication technology to create parts that have surface shape with new performance features such as antifouling, water repellency, and reduced drag, with the aim of adding functionality to a wide variety of products.

Sharp has been conducting research and development of biomimetics, calling “Nature Technology” since 2008, and applies it to home appliances conscious to both living and the environment. It has already been used in parts of products in more than 10 categories, such as outdoor units for air conditioners and air purifiers and is effective in improving product performance and reducing power consumption.

Nikon is proceeding with various studies and alliances with companies with the aim of developing its business in Riblet processing in the Material Processing Business, which is one of the growth areas that Nikon will focus on in its medium-term management plan. Riblet processing incorporates the concept of biomimetics. It is a process that combines laser and microfabrication technology to develop micro-surface structures shaped like the small grooves on the skin of a shark. This can reduce viscosity frictional loss due to the irregular flow of liquids and gases and improve the energy efficiency of various industrial equipment.

Nikon and Sharp verified the propeller fan of the air conditioner outdoor units had a certain energy-saving by applying Riblet processing through a joint experiment.

Both companies continue joint development aiming at putting Biomimetics technology into practical use in 2023.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.