Japanese engineer and physicist Isamu Akasaki, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 for the invention of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), died Thursday morning (April 1), in a hospital in Nagoya at the age of 92 for complications of a pneumonia. The announcement of the disappearance was made today by Mejo University, of which he was professor emeritus. Akasaki had developed LEDs since the late 1980s, revolutionary electronic devices which, by exploiting the optical properties of some materials, produce light more efficiently on the energy front and are more environmentally friendly.


Born in Chiran on January 30, 1929, Isamu Akasaki graduated from Kyoto University in 1952 and earned his doctorate in engineering from Nagoya University in 1964, where he began his academic career. In the meantime, he had done research at Matsushita Electric Industrial, now part of the Panasonic Corp. group.

In 1992 he obtained the chair of physics at Mejo University and since 2004 he was director of the Research Center for nitride semiconductors at the same university. He conducted research in the field of semiconductor technology which in 1989 led him to develop the blue Led with pn junction with gallium nitride (Gan). Awarded numerous awards, including the Kyoto Prize for Technology (2009) and the Edison Medal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2011), in 2014 he received, with Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano, the Nobel Prize for physics “for the invention of efficient blue light emitting diodes that have made it possible to obtain energy-saving white light sources”.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics to Japanese scientists Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and the American Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of blue light emitting diodes that allowed to enhance – reads motivations of Stockholm – and to make the white light sources brighter allowing a simultaneous energy saving “.

“With the advent of LEDs, more and more widespread, we now have more efficient and lasting alternatives than the old light sources” and, adds the Swedish Academy, the three scientists “have succeeded where all had failed”. “Their invention was revolutionary. As incandescent lamps represented the twentieth century, the twenty-first century will be identified with the lights emitted by LED lamps”, added the Stockholm Academy in the reasons for the prestigious award.

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