Japanese Nobel Prize winner Isamu Akasaki, father of LED lights, dies at 92

Isamu Akasaki, in a file image.

The Japanese Scientist Isamu akasaki, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 by his contribution to the development of the light-emitting diode (LED), has died this Thursday at the age of 92, according to local media reports this Friday.

Originally from Minamikyushu (southwestern Japan) and an electrical engineer by training, Akasaki served as a professor at Nagoya University and devoted much of his career to research and development in the field of semiconductors.

His work for decades in this area contributed to the use of an alloy known as gallium nitride essential for the development of the light-emitting diode, a technology invented in the early 1990s capable of emit bright light and save energy.

The results of their investigations made possible the LEDs of primary colors red, green and blue, which expanded the practical applications of these diodes that today are used for example in television screens or lighting systems.

That work was recognized with the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014, an award shared between Akasaki and fellow Japanese Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, the latter a nationalized American.

The Swedish Academy decided to award the award to all three for their respective contributions to LED technology. Amano was a student of Akasaki and was part of his research group at Nagoya University, while Nakamaura worked on his own.

Akasaki’s work was also recognized with other awards such as the Queen Elizabeth Award for Engineering, the Order of Culture of Japan or the IEEE Edison Medal.


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