Professor Nakamura may have single-handedly changed the technological face of the world. His discovery of p-type doping in Gallium Nitride (GaN) and development of blue, green, and white light emitting diodes (LEDs) and blue laser diodes (LDs) has enabled energy efficient, solid-state lighting used in displays, medicine, and the next generation of Blu-Ray optical storage. Now, Dr. Nakamura’s inventions are poised to replace Thomas Edison’s light bulb and save the world billions of dollars in energy costs.
Professor Nakamura was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” He has also received numerous other awards for his work. He was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2003. Prof. Nakamura received the 2014 Order of Culture Award in Japan. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2015. He received the 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering and the 2015 Global Energy Prize in Russia.
Since 2000, he has been a professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds more than 200 US patents and over 300 Japanese patents. He has published more than 550 papers in his field. Professor Nakamura is the Research Director of the Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center and the Cree Chair in Solid State Lighting & Displays. He co-founded Soraa, Inc. in 2008, which operates vertically integrated fabrication facilities in California’s Silicon Valley and Santa Barbara.