Shuji Nakamura
  • 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics


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. Together with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, he is one of the three recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources".

Education and Work Experience

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

Honors and Awards

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 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.