The Electrochemistry Society mourns the passing of Nobel Laureate and long-term member, Isamu Akasaki, on April 1, 2021.

“The world knew Isamu Akasaki as the pioneering scientist who invented the blue LED. At the Society, we came to know him on a more personal level during his 35-plus years of membership. We tracked the extraordinary progress of Professor Akasaki’s research at ECS meetings and in ECS journal articles. We also noted his remarkable humility and how he always credited his success to the support of co-researchers, students, and colleagues. Prof. Akasaki was both a leader in the field, and mentor to a generation of scientists following his lead in finding solutions to reducing global dependence on fossil fuels,” said Christopher Jannuzzi, ECS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. (more…)

Submission Deadline: July 31, 2019

Submit your manuscripts to the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) Focus Issue on Recent Advances in Wide Bandgap III-Nitride Devices and Solid State Lighting: A Tribute to Isamu Akasaki.

About Isamu Akasaki

Isamu Akasaki has devoted much of his research career to the development and advancement of efficient GaN light-emitting diodes via a metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy growth process. This approach led to the discovery of p-type GaN with magnesium doping and ultimately to the invention of the first GaN p-n junction blue/ultraviolet LED in 1989. Subsequent work by Akasaki’s group led to advances in conductivity control of n-type GaN and related alloys by doping with silicon, allowing for the use of hetero structures and quantum wells in the design and fabrication of even more efficient p-n junction structures and the development of wide bandgap III-Nitride semiconductors for solid state lighting and related technologies. These groundbreaking efforts were recognized in 2014 with the Nobel Prize in Physics. (more…)

An interview with Isamu Akasaki

Isamu AkasakiOn June 8, 2016, Yue Kuo, an ECS fellow and vice president of The Electrochemical Society, traveled to the Akasaki Institute at Nagoya University in Japan to talk with Isamu Akasaki, a Nobel Prize winner and ECS life member.

Professor Akasaki is a materials scientist specializing in semiconductor science and technology. He is a pioneer of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which have enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources. He shares the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for this work. Prior to their groundbreaking work, scientists had produced LEDs that emitted red or yellow-green light, but not blue. Blue had been thought impossible or impractical to make. Blue LEDs became commercially available in 1994.

The new combination of blue, green, and red LEDs produces white light, and blue LEDs coated with YAG:Ce yellow phosphor appear white to the eye and can be developed for much less energy than that from incandescent and fluorescent lamps, which contain toxic mercury. Prof. Akasaki’s work helped lead to the development of blue semiconductor lasers, which proved useful for high-capacity optical-media devices such as Blu-ray disc players.

What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation between Yue Kuo and Isamu Akasaki, which they had in English.