Jun-ichi Nishizawa

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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, and static induction thyristor.

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

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.

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.


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

Sophia University private university in Tokyo, Japan

Sophia University is a private Jesuit research university in Japan, with its main campus located near Yotsuya station, in an area of Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. It is ranked as one of the top private universities in Japan, as well as the most prestigious. It takes its name from the Greek Sophia meaning "wisdom". The Japanese name, Jōchi Daigaku, literally means "University of Higher Wisdom".


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.

Sendai Designated city in Tōhoku, Japan

Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the largest city in the Tōhoku region, and the second largest city north of Tokyo. As of 1 August 2017, the city had a population of 1,086,012, and is one of Japan's 20 designated cities. The total area of the city is 786.30 square kilometres (303.59 sq mi).

Tohoku University Higher education institution in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Tohoku University, abbreviated to Tohokudai, located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It was the third Imperial University in Japan and is one of the National Seven Universities. It is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, and one of the top fifty universities in the world.

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.

Iwate Prefectural University Higher education institution in Iwate Prefecture, Japan

Iwate Prefectural University is a Japanese public university located in Takizawa, Iwate, founded in 1998.


In 1950, the static induction transistor was invented by Jun-ichi Nishizawa and Y. Watanabe. [2] The PIN photodiode was also invented by Nishizawa and his colleagues in 1950. [3]

In 1952, he invented the avalanche photodiode. [4]

While working at Tohoku University in the 1960s, Nishizawa invented technologies 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. [5] [ verification needed ] He patented the graded-index optical fiber in 1964.[ citation needed ]

In fiber optics, a graded index is an optical fiber whose core has a refractive index that decreases with increasing radial distance from the optical axis of the fiber.

In 1971, he invented the static induction thyristor. [4] [6]


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. [7] He also received the Japan Academy Prize (1974), [7] IEEE Jack A. Morton Award (1983), [8] the Honda Prize and the Laudise Prize of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (1989). [9] IEEE conferred the Edison Medal on him in 2000, [10] and introduced the IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal in 2002. [11]

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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.

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  1. "Former Tohoku U. president Junichi Nishizawa, known as 'Mr. Semiconductor,' dies at 92". The Mainichi . October 26, 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  2. McCluskey, F. Patrick; Podlesak, Thomas; Grzybowski, Richard, eds. (1996). High Temperature Electronics (illustrated ed.). CRC Press. p. 82. ISBN   9780849396236.
  3. 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.
  4. 1 2 Jun-ichi Nishizawa: Engineer, Sophia University Special Professor (interview), Japan Quality Review, 2011.
  5. Kowalenko, Kathy (2003-06-01). "New Medal Honors Japanese Microelectrics Industry Leader". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13.
  6. 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.
  7. 1 2 "Prize Winners" (PDF). Tohoku University.
  8. "IEEE Jack A. Morton Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  9. "Prizes". International Organization for Crystal Growth. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  10. "IEEE Edison Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE.
  11. "IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal". IEEE. Retrieved 2019-01-15.