Shuji Nakamura

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Shuji Nakamura

Inventor of the Blue LED

Shuji Nakamura is renowned as an inventor of Blue LED and blue LD, which are also used in Blue Ray Discs and HD DVDs. This development by Prof. Nakamura represents one of the most important achievements in the materials science of semiconductors in the last 30 years.

The LEDs use as little as one-seventh the energy as an incandescent bulb and can last about 100 times as long, up to 100,000 hours and if they were widely used, it could lead to enormous energy savings and carbon-emissions.

Shuji Nakamura is renowned as an inventor of Blue LED and blue LD, which are also used in Blue Ray Discs and HD DVDs. This development by Prof. Nakamura represents one of the most important achievements in the materials science of semiconductors in the last 30 years.

The LEDs use as little as one-seventh the energy as an incandescent bulb and can last about 100 times as long, up to 100,000 hours and if they were widely used, it could lead to enormous energy savings and carbon-emissions.

Born in Ehime, Japan, he obtained his B.E., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tokushima, Japan in 1977, 1979, and 1994, respectively. He joined Nichia Chemical Industries Ltd in 1979. In 1988, he spent a year at the University of Florida as a visiting research associate.

Prof. Nakamura started the research of blue LEDs using group-III nitride materials. In 1993 and 1995 he developed the first group-III nitride-based blue/green LEDs. He also developed the first group-III nitride-based violet laser diodes (LDs) in 1995.

He has received a number of awards, including: the Nishina Memorial Award (1996), the British Rank Prize (1998) and Benjamin Franklin Medal Award (2002), the Millennium Technology Prize (2006), The Harvey Award (2009), and the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (2012). He was elected as the member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003.

Since 2000, Prof. Nakamura is a professor of the Materials Department of University of California Santa Barbara, and is also the Research Director of the Solid State Lighting & Energy Centre. He holds more than 100 patents and has published more than 400 papers in this field.

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