Materials Scientist Awarded 2016 Japan Prize

Professor Hideo Hosono, who developed transistors for energy-saving LCD displays, has been recognized for his groundbreaking work with the 2016 Japan Prize.

AsianScientist (Feb. 23, 2016) – Professor Hideo Hosono from Tokyo Institute of Technology has been chosen to receive the 2016 Japan Prize.

Hosono is a professor at the Materials and Structures Laboratory and the director of the Materials Research Center for Element Strategy, and is well known as a global researcher in the realm of materials science.

The Japan Prize, an international prize on par with the Nobel Prize, was instituted in 1985 to “express Japan’s gratitude to the international society.” The prize is given to individuals recognized to have contributed greatly to the progress of science and technology, and to the peace and prosperity of humankind.

Each year, recipients are selected from two fields. Hosono was selected as the recipient for one of the prize-winning fields for 2016, Materials and Production. The winner for the Biological Production and Biological Environment field was Professor Steven D. Tanksley from Cornell University.

Hosono made use of the nano-structure of materials to synthesize numerous electronic materials that defy traditionally-held ideas about elements and compounds. For example, he used transparent amorphous oxide, which was believed to not be able to conduct electricity, to develop a semiconductor.

One such material, a thin film transistor of In-Ga-Zn-O (Indium, Gallium, Zinc, and Oxygen) called IGZO-TFT, has been applied as an energy-saving LCD display and can be found in everyday items such as personal computers and tablets. It is also being used in large organic light emitting diode (OLED) televisions.

Hosono has contributed greatly to industry as well, having created an electricity-conducting compound from cement materials, as well as a high-temperature superconductor containing iron, an element thought to be a hindrance to superconductivity.

“This award is the result of research pioneering the electrical properties of transparent oxides started in 1993 at this institute,” said Hosono.

“This research was motivated by the tremendous activity and stimulating atmosphere of the Materials and Structures Laboratory at the time—that ‘if you can’t have a large research concept, you are not qualified to be here.’”


Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology.
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