|The Honda Foundation will Confer the Honda Prize for the year 2000 on Professor Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara|
|The Honda Foundation (President, Hiromori Kawashima,) has decided to confer the Honda Prize for the year 2000 on Professor Shuji Nakamura (46) of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Professor Nakamura will be the 21st recipient of the Honda Prize and the second Japanese citizen to receive the award.
Tokyo, October 5, 2000 --- Through his research and development activities in Japan, Professor Nakamura has succeeded in the development of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes (LDs) that emit blue and green lights at practical levels by using a gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor.
The development of semiconductor lasers emitting blue and green lights, which comprise two of the three primary colors, along with red, has long been a dream for researchers of photo-physical properties of semiconductors worldwide. However, the instability and difficulty of processing a group of substances forming short wavelength semiconductor lasers have been stumbling blocks.
Professor Nakamura undertook the challenging task of creating crystals by using gallium nitride as material - considered a particularly difficult process - and succeeded in the development of light-emitting diodes and laser diodes, which he has managed to bring to commercial production and marketing.
His developments have far-reaching effects. They can be used as a light source for high-density optical recording of optical disks. And, the combination of the blue LED and green LED with the existing red LED opens the way for a wide variety of uses, including white light source and full color displays. Light-emitting bodies thus developed will consume very little power, will be environment-friendly and significantly energy-saving devices.
Professor Nakamura's research and development activities meet the concept of eco-technology, "a true technology developed in harmony with the entire environment surrounding all human activity," as advocated by Honda Foundation.
The award ceremony will take place on Friday, November 17, the birthday of the late Soichiro Honda, at Hotel Okura in Tokyo. In addition to being recognized as the 21st recipient of the Honda Prize, Professor Nakamura will be awarded a supplementary prize of ten million yen (JPY10,000,000).
The term eco-technology is derived from the combination of ecology and technology. It is a new technological concept that seeks harmony with the environment surrounding all human activity, and is a departure from the conventional concept of technology as a means to pursue efficiency and profit.