Born: 11 September 1960, Hamamatsu, Japan
Affiliation at the time of the award: Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Prize motivation: "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources"
Field: semiconductor technology
Prize share: 1/3
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.