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Dr. Leo Esaki
Nobel Laureate, IBM Fellow, Chairman of the Science and Technology Promotion Foundation of Ibaraki, Japan 
 

  

Education
B.S. in Physics, University of Tokyo, 1947
Ph. D. in Physics, University of Tokyo, 1959


Professional Career:
1947-1956 Kobe Kogyo Corporation, Kobe, Japan
1956-1960 Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Sony Corporation presently), Japan
1960-1992 IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, New York, U.S.A.
1992-1998 President, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
1998-   Chairman, the S & T Promotion Foundation of Ibaraki, Tsukuba
1998-   Director-General, Tsukuba International Congress Center, Tsukuba
2000-2005 President, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
2006-  President, Yokohama College of Pharmacy, Yokohama, Japan


Professional Memberships:
Fellow, American Physical Society
Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Member, Physical Society of Japan
President, Tsukuba Science Academy


Professional Experience and Interest:
Dr. Leo Esaki had been engaged in research at the Sony Corporation, Tokyo, where his research on heavily-doped Ge and Si resulted in the discovery of the Esaki tunnel diode in 1957: this diode constitutes the first quantum electron device.  His major field is semiconductor physics.  


In 1960, he moved to the United States to join IBM.  He worked as an IBM fellow at Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York.  During his stay at IBM Research, Dr. Esaki, with his colleagues, proposed the concept of “superlattices” with the lattice constant of the order of 10 nanometers.  This was perhaps the first proposal to advocate the engineering of a novel semiconductor material of unprecedented properties by applying the MBE technique after designing the structure in accordance with the principles of quantum theory.  The proposed superlattice has apparently brought about a great dream in semiconductor research by opening up vast frontiers of new opportunities for exploration.  Dr. Esaki and his coworkers’ pioneering research on superlattices and quantum wells in the 1970s and the early 1980s triggered a wide spectrum of experimental and theoretical investigations, resulting in not only the observation of a number of intriguing phenomena, but also the emerge of a new class of transport and optoelectronic devices. 


After returning to Japan, he had assumed the position of President, the University of Tsukuba for six years from April 1, 1992 to March 31, 1998.  During his tenure, he made great contributions to the reform and internationalization of the Japanese educational system as a member of many committees on education.  He joined Science and Technology Promotion Foundation of Ibaraki as Chairman in April, 1998.  Also, he was appointed the first Director-General, Tsukuba International Congress Center in 1999.  In April, 2000, he assumed the position of President, Shibaura Institute of Technology.  Also, in 2006, he was appointed President, Yokohama College of Pharmacy.


Awards:
The Nishina Memorial Award (1959)
The Asahi Press Award (1960)
The Toyo Rayon Foundation Award for the Promotion of Science and Technology (1960)
The Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Prize from IRE (1961)
The Stuart Ballantine Medal from the Franklin Institute (1961)
The Japan Academy Award (1965)
The Nobel Prize in Physics in recognition of his discovery of the Esaki Tunnel diode (1973)
The Order of Culture from the Japanese Government (1974)
The American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials (1985)
The 1991 IEEE Medal of Honor for contributions to and leadership in tunneling, semiconductor superlattices, and quantum wells (1991)
The Japan Prize for his pioneering work in artificial semiconductor superlattices and other quantum structures (1998)
The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, First Class (1998)

 

 

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