The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014
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."
Prize share: 1/3
Hiroshi Amano was born in Hamamatsu, Japan. He studied electrical engineering at the university in Nagoya, which also awarded him his doctorate in 1989. In 2002 he became a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya and later moved to Nagoya University.
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.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.