Shuji Nakamura



3524 Engineering Science Building II

University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

IEE Research Areas: 


Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center, Co-Director
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors, Member
Center for Energy Efficient Materials, Member


2014 Nobel Prize in Physics
2009 Harvey Award
2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical Scientific Research
2007 Czochralski Award
2006 Millenium Technology Prize
2002 Benjamin Franklin Medal Award
1998 British Rank Prize
1997 MRS Medal Award
1996 Nishina Memorial Award
IEEE Jack A. Morton Award
National Academy of Engineering, Member

Research Description: 

Shuji Nakamura's research includes MOCVD (metal-organic chemical vapor deposition), UVPE (ultraviolet photoelectrons), and growth and device fabrication of light-emitters based on the wide bandgap semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN). Nakamura’s work has launched a new sector in light-producing semiconductor research and made possible the wide-scale industrial production of efficient, energy-saving LEDs. Specifically, the discovery of p-type doping in Gallium Nitride (GaN) and the development of blue, green, and white light emitting diodes (LEDs) and blue laser diodes (LDs) has enabled energy efficient lighting and displays. Nakamura’s invention of ultraviolet LEDs also improves the sterilization of drinking water with the use of ultraviolet LEDs, making the water purification process both cheaper and more efficient.


BE: Electrical Engineering, University of Tokushima (1977)
MS: Electrical Engineering, University of Tokushima (1979)
PhD: Electrical Engineering, University of Tokushima (1994)


He joined Nichia Chemical Industries in 1979 and worked there until 1999 when he joined UC Santa Barbara as Professor of Materials. While at Nichia Chemical, he started research on blue LEDs using group-III nitride materials. In 1993 and 1995, he developed the first group-III nitride-based blue/green LEDs.  He also developed the first group-III nitride-based violet laser diodes (LDs) in 1995.