Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Zhores I. Alferov
Born: 15 March 1930, Vitebsk, Belorussia, USSR (now Belarus)
Affiliation at the time of the award: A.F. Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia
Prize motivation: "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics."
Prize share: 1/4
Semiconductors, materials with properties between those of electrical conductors and insulators, are the basis for most electronic components. Some components use heterostructures, in which semiconductor materials lie in thin sheets. In 1963, at the same time as but independently of Herbert Kroemer, Zhores Alferov built a heterostructure that acted as a laser. Semiconductor lasers have since become important for the transmission of signals in optical fibers and for storage and reading of data