The inventor of the blue LED, Japanese Nobel laureate Isamu Akasaki, is dead.
Physics Award winner Isamu Akasaki receives the award from King Carl XVI Gustaf at the Nobel Prize ceremony at the 2014 Stockholm Concert Hall. Archive photo.
Akasaki received the Nobel Prize along with Hiroshi Aman and Shuji Nakamura in 2014. The three were awarded for inventing a new, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light source, commonly known as ice.
The invention meant that humanity was given a more sustainable and efficient alternative to older light sources.
Or as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences wrote when the award was announced: Blue LEDs are spreading new light around the world.
Isamu Akasaki worked at Nagoya University along with Hirshi Aman. In the early 1990s, they managed to get strong blue rays from semiconductors.
Red and green diodes existed long ago, but without blue light you couldn’t get what you’ve been looking for for decades: white light.
The two collaborated with Shuji Nakamura, who was then employed by the small company Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan.
The result of the research led the Academy of Sciences to state succinctly: “An ordinary light bulb illuminated the entire 20th century: an LED lamp will illuminate the 21st century.”
Isamu Akasaki turned 92 years old.