Jun-ichi Nishizawa

Last updated

Jun-ichi Nishizawa
西澤 潤一
BornSeptember 12, 1926
DiedOctober 21, 2018(2018-10-21) (aged 92)
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
NationalityFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Alma materTohoku University
Awards IEEE Edison Medal (2000)
Order of Culture
Scientific career
Institutions Tohoku University
Iwate Prefectural University
Tokyo Metropolitan University
Sophia University
Layers of a PIN diode. (+ -)
The PIN photodiode was invented by Jun-ichi Nishizawa in 1950. Pin-Diode.svg
Layers of a PIN diode. (+ -)
The PIN photodiode was invented by Jun-ichi Nishizawa in 1950.

Jun-ichi Nishizawa (西澤 潤一, Nishizawa Jun'ichi, September 12, 1926 October 21, 2018) [1] was a Japanese engineer and inventor. He is known for his electronic inventions since the 1950s, including the PIN diode, static induction transistor, static induction thyristor, SIT/SITh. His inventions contributed to the development of internet technology and the information age. [2]


He was a professor at Sophia University. He is considered the "Father of Japanese Microelectronics".


Nishizawa was born in Sendai, Japan, on September 12, 1926. He earned a B.S. in 1948, and a Doctor of Engineering degree in 1960, from Tohoku University.

In 1953, he joined the Research Institute of Electrical Communication at Tohoku University. He became a professor there and was appointed director to two research institutes. From 1990 to 1996, Nishizawa served as the President of Tohoku University.

He became the president of Iwate Prefectural University in 1998.


In 1950, the static induction transistor was invented by Jun-ichi Nishizawa and Y. Watanabe. [3] The PIN photodiode was also invented by Nishizawa and his colleagues in 1950. [4]

In 1952, he invented the avalanche photodiode. [5] He then invented a solid-state maser in 1955. [5] This was followed by his proposal for a semiconductor optical maser in 1957, a year before Schawlow and Townes's first paper on optical masers. [5] [6] [7]

While working at Tohoku University, he proposed fiber-optic communication, the use of optical fibers for optical communication, in 1963. [8] Nishizawa other invented technologies in the 1960s that contributed to the development of optical fiber communications, such as the graded-index optical fiber as a channel for transmitting light from semiconductor lasers. [9] [10] He patented the graded-index optical fiber in 1964. [2]

In 1971, he invented the static induction thyristor. [5] [11]


Nishizawa was a Life Fellow of the IEEE. He is a Fellow of several other institutions, including the Physical Society, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Academy of Sciences. Nishizawa was decorated with Order of Culture by the emperor of Japan in 1989. [12] He also received the Japan Academy Prize (1974), [12] IEEE Jack A. Morton Award (1983), [13] the Honda Prize and the Laudise Prize of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (1989). [14] IEEE conferred the Edison Medal on him in 2000, [15] and introduced the IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal in 2002. [16] He has more than a thousand patents registered under his name. [1]

Related Research Articles

Laser Device which emits light via optical amplification

A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The word "laser" is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories, based on theoretical work by Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow.

A PIN diode is a diode with a wide, undoped intrinsic semiconductor region between a p-type semiconductor and an n-type semiconductor region. The p-type and n-type regions are typically heavily doped because they are used for ohmic contacts.

Photodiode Converts light into current

A photodiode is a semiconductor p–n junction device that converts light into an electrical current. The current is generated when photons are absorbed in the photodiode. Photodiodes may contain optical filters, built-in lenses, and may have large or small surface areas. Photodiodes usually have a slower response time as their surface area increases. The common, traditional solar cell used to generate electric solar power is a large area photodiode.

Arthur Leonard Schawlow 20th-century American physicist; co-inventor of the laser

Arthur Leonard Schawlow was an American physicist and co-inventor of the laser with Charles Townes. His central insight, which Townes overlooked, was the use of two mirrors as the resonant cavity to take maser action from microwaves to visible wavelengths. He shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for his work using lasers to determine atomic energy levels with great precision.

The static induction thyristor is a thyristor with a buried gate structure in which the gate electrodes are placed in n-base region. Since they are normally on-state, gate electrodes must be negatively or anode biased to hold off-state. It has low noise, low distortion, high audio frequency power capability. The turn-on and turn-off times are very short, typically 0.25 microseconds.

A VMOS transistor is a type of MOSFET. VMOS is also used for describing the V-groove shape vertically cut into the substrate material. VMOS is an acronym for "vertical metal oxide semiconductor", or "V-groove MOS".

James Lee Fergason was an American inventor and business entrepreneur. A member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Fergason is best known for his work on an improved Liquid Crystal Display, or LCD. He held over one hundred U.S. patents at the time of his death.

Federico Capasso, a prominent applied physicist, was one of the inventors of the quantum cascade laser during his work at Bell Laboratories. He is currently on the faculty of Harvard University. He has co-authored over 450 papers, edited four volumes, and holds over 60 US patents.

Masayoshi Esashi is an engineer. He is a global authority of Microelectromechanical systems and serves as the professor of the Tohoku University graduate school engineering graduate course.

Martin Schadt Swiss physicist and inventor (born 1938)

Martin Schadt is a Swiss physicist and inventor.

Charles H. Henry American physicist

Charles H. Henry was an American physicist. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received an M.S. degree in physics in 1959 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. degree in physics in 1965 from the University of Illinois, under the direction of Charlie Slichter. In March 2008, he was featured in an article in the Physics Illinois News, a publication of the Physics Department of the University of Illinois.

Fujio Masuoka Japanese engineer (born 1943)

Fujio Masuoka is a Japanese engineer, who has worked for Toshiba and Tohoku University, and is currently chief technical officer (CTO) of Unisantis Electronics. He is best known as the inventor of flash memory, including the development of both the NOR flash and NAND flash types in the 1980s. He also invented the first gate-all-around (GAA) MOSFET (GAAFET) transistor, an early non-planar 3D transistor, in 1988.

Robert L. Byer

Robert Louis Byer is a physicist. He was president of the Optical Society of America in 1994 and of the American Physical Society in 2012.

Chenming Calvin Hu is a Chinese-American electronic engineer who specializes in microelectronics. He is TSMC Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the electronic engineering and computer science department of the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. In 2009, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers described him as a “microelectronics visionary … whose seminal work on metal-oxide semiconductor MOS reliability and device modeling has had enormous impact on the continued scaling of electronic devices”.

Jerry Woodall is an American inventor and scientist best known for his invention of the first commercially viable heterojunction material GaAlAs for red LEDs used in automobile brake lights and traffic lights, CD and DVD players, TV remote controls and computer networks. He is a recipient of US National Medal of Technology and Innovation for "his pioneering role in the research and development of compound semiconductor materials and devices..."

Static induction transistor (SIT) is a high power, high frequency transistor device. It is a vertical structure device with short multichannel. Being a vertical device, the SIT structure offers advantages in obtaining higher breakdown voltages than a field-effect transistor (FET). For the SIT, it is not limited by the surface breakdown between gate and drain, and can operate at a very high current and voltage. This device is also known as a V-FET, and can be found in some of the more upmarket amplifiers from Sony back in the late 1970s and Yamaha from 1973 - 1980.

In 2002, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) added a new award to its already existing program of awards. Each year, one or more nominees are honored with a medal in the name of Jun-ichi Nishizawa, considered to be the father of Japanese microelectronics. Nishizawa was professor, director of two research institutes and the 17th president at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, and contributed important innovations in the fields of optical communications and semiconductor devices, such as laser and PIN diodes and static induction thyristors for electric power applications.

This is the history of science and technology in Modern Japan.

Burn-Jeng Lin is a Taiwanese engineer.


  1. 1 2 "Former Tohoku U. president Junichi Nishizawa, known as 'Mr. Semiconductor,' dies at 92". The Mainichi . October 26, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. 1 2 The Third Industrial Revolution Occurred in Sendai, Soh-VEHE International Patent Office, Japan Patent Attorneys Association
  3. McCluskey, F. Patrick; Podlesak, Thomas; Grzybowski, Richard, eds. (1996). High Temperature Electronics (illustrated ed.). CRC Press. p. 82. ISBN   9780849396236.
  4. Dummer, G. W. A. (2013). Electronic Inventions and Discoveries: Electronics from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day (3rd, revised ed.). Elsevier. p. 137. ISBN   9781483145211.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Jun-ichi Nishizawa: Engineer, Sophia University Special Professor (interview), Japan Quality Review, 2011.
  6. Nishizawa, Jun-ichi (December 2009). "Extension of frequencies from maser to laser". Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci. 85 (10): 454–465. doi: 10.2183/pjab.85.454 . PMC   3621550 . PMID   20009378.
  7. Schawlow, Arthur; Townes, Charles (1958). "Infrared and Optical Masers". Physical Review. 112 (6): 1940–1949. Bibcode:1958PhRv..112.1940S. doi: 10.1103/PhysRev.112.1940 .
  8. Nishizawa, Jun-ichi & Suto, Ken (2004). "Terahertz wave generation and light amplification using Raman effect". In Bhat, K. N. & DasGupta, Amitava (eds.). Physics of semiconductor devices. New Delhi, India: Narosa Publishing House. p. 27. ISBN   81-7319-567-6.
  9. "Optical Fiber". Sendai New. Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  10. Kowalenko, Kathy (June 1, 2003). "New Medal Honors Japanese Microelectrics Industry Leader". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Archived from the original on September 15, 2009.[ verification needed ]
  11. Dummer, G. W. A. (2013). Electronic Inventions and Discoveries: Electronics from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day (3rd, revised ed.). Elsevier. p. 231. ISBN   9781483145211.
  12. 1 2 "Prize Winners" (PDF). Tohoku University.
  13. "IEEE Jack A. Morton Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  14. "Prizes". International Organization for Crystal Growth. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  15. "IEEE Edison Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE.
  16. "IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal". IEEE. Retrieved January 15, 2019.