Shuji Nakamura

Shuji Nakamura

2014 Nobel Prize in Physics

Shuji Nakamura is a Japanese-born American electronic engineer and inventor specializing in the field of semiconductor technology, professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and is regarded as the inventor of the blue LED, a major breakthrough in lighting technology.

Education and Work Experience
  • 1979, Master of Electronic Engineering, University of Tokushima  
  • 1985-1988, Group Head, Research and Development 1st Section / 2nd Section, Nichia Chemical Ind., Ltd.
  • 1993-1999, Senior Researcher, Department of Research and Development, Nichia Chemical Ind., Ltd.
  • 1999-Present, Professor, Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara

Honors and Awards
    • 1995, Sakurai Award
    • 2002, Benjamin Franklin Metal
    • 2009, Harvey Prize
    • 2014, Nobel Prize in Physics
    • 2015, Global Energy Prize

Major Academic Achievements

Lighting plays a major role in our quality of life. The development of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has made more efficient light sources possible. Creating white light that can be used for lighting requires a combination of red, green, and blue light. Blue LEDs proved to be much more difficult 1985-1988 to create than red and green diodes. During the 1980s and 1990s Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura successfully used the difficult-to-handle semiconductor gallium nitride to create efficient blue LEDs.