2001Advanced TechnologyElectronics
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov photo

Zhores Ivanovich Alferov

  • Russia / March 15, 1930
  • Physicist
  • Director, The Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, Vice President, The Russian Academy of Sciences

A Pioneering Step in the Development of Optoelectronics through Success in Continuous Operation of Semiconductor Lasers at Room Temperature

Dr. Alferov, Dr. Hayashi and Dr. Panish have made pioneering contributions to the development of optoelectronics as we know it today with the achievement of continuous wave operation of semiconductor lasers at room temperature. They have thus paved the way for commercial use of electronic devices that play an essential role in the building of information infrastructures supporting the worldwide IT revolution.

Profile

Brief Biography

1930
Born in Belorussia, USSR
1952
Graduated, The Ulyanov-Lenin Electrotechnical Institute in Leningrad
1953
Engineer, The Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology
1964
Section Head, the same institute
1967
Laboratory Head, the same institute
1970
Doctor, Physics and Mathematics
1989
Presidium Chairman, The Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Research Center, The Russian Academy of Sciences. Director, The Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology

Selected Awards and Honors

1971
Ballantyne Medal, The Franklin Institute, U. S. A.
1972
Lenin Prize
1978
Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize
1984
USSR State Prize
1996
Ioffe Prize, Russian Academy of Sciences
2000
Nobel Prize for Physics
Members
Vice President, The Russian Academy of Sciences
Foreign Members, The German Academy of Sciences, The National Academy of Sciences (U. S. A.)
Honorary Professor, Havana University

Major Works

1969

Coherent radiation of Epitaxial Heterojunction Structures in the AlAs-GaAs System. Soviet Phys. Semiconductors 2 (10). (with V. M. Andreev and others), 1969

1970

AlAs-GaAs Heterojunction Injection Lasers with a Low Room Temperature Threshold. Soviet Physics-Semiconductors 3 (9). (with V. M. Andreev and others), 1970

1971

Investigation of the influence of the AlAs-GaAs Heterostructure Parameters on the Laser Threshold Current and the Realization of Continuous Emission at Room Temperature. Soviet Physics-Semiconductors 4 (9). (with V. M. Andreev and others), 1971

Citation

A Pioneering Step in the Development of Optoelectronics through Success in Continuous Operation of Semiconductor Lasers at Room Temperature

In 1970, Dr. Zh. I. Alferov, Dr. I. Hayashi and Dr. M. B. Panish achieved continuous operation of semiconductor lasers at room temperature, an operation which theretofore had been extremely difficult. Their feat paved the way for the practical uses of semiconductor lasers, a pioneering contribution to the development of the optoelectronics that are an essential component of the information infrastructures that underpin the worldwide IT revolution.

The first semiconductor laser, accomplished in liquid nitrogen in 1962, utilized a homojunction based upon a GaAs layer. However, its requirement of threshold current density, the minimum density necessary for lasing operation, was extremely high, thus permitting pulse operation only and hindering the industrial application of these semiconductor lasers. A variety of subsequent attempts were made to confine light output in an optical waveguide using striped electrodes or a heterostructure of AlGaAs and GaAs layers, but numerous technical bottlenecks yet prevented continuous operation at room temperature. A breakthrough occurred in 1970, when Dr. Alferov in Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), and Drs. Hayashi and Panish in the United States, almost simultaneously succeeded in achieving the continuous operation of semiconductor lasers. The semiconductor lasers they developed are characterized by the fact that they substantially reduced the threshold current density through the application of a double heterostructure consisting of a GaAs active layer, a thin film for radiating light, sandwiched between two AlGaAs layers.

This epoch-making development provided the basis for several subsequent research efforts and paved the way for the practical application of semiconductor lasers. These lasers were then applied to a number of new technologies, accelerating the development of the optoelectronics field that has given birth to a revolution in industrial and social structures worldwide.

Today, semiconductor lasers can be found not only in the optical fiber communications that connect us to the world via the Internet, the major driving force in the realization of the information society, but also in optical recording technologies such as compact disc players and video disc players, information processing components such as computer memory and laser printers, and media resources such as digital publications.

The continuous operation of semiconductor lasers at room temperature, attained by the three scientists using an AlGaAs double heterostructure, gave birth to an entire class of innovative technical developments. It is no exaggeration that the prosperity of the optoelectronics field as we know it today would not have been possible without their groundbreaking achievement.

For these reasons, the Inamori Foundation is pleased to bestow upon Dr. Alferov, Dr. Hayashi and Dr. Panish the 2001 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology.

Lecture

Abstract of the Lecture

The Story of My Life and Heterostructures

I started to take an interest in physics under strong influence of my school physics teacher. On his advice I chose Electronics Department of the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institute for my student years. I have started to do my first research in semiconductor physics and devices during my student time. In 1953, I became a member of the scientific staff of the Ioffe Institute. Since that time and until now I have had the happiness to carry out the research in the most exciting area of modern physics and technology.

The crucial point was the transition from the investigation of homostructures to heterostructures at the end of 1962 when the first p – n junction semiconductor lasers were invented. My current research interests are connected with the development of new sophisticated “artificial atoms” – quantum dots structures and their very perspective applications in optoelectronics and high – speed electronics.

The author’s point of view on the modern situation in science and especially in Russian Academy of Sciences is also exposed.

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Workshop

Workshop

Semiconductor Laser - Continuous Operation and Progress for the Future -

date
Monday, November 12, 2001
palce
Kyoto International Conference Center
Coordinator & Moderator
Kenichi Iga, Member of the Kyoto Prize Screening Committee; Executive Director, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Organized
Inamori Foundation
Supported
Kyoto Prefectural Government, Kyoto City Government, NHK
With the cooperation
IEICE/Electronic Society, The Japan Society of Applied Physics, IEEE/LEOS Japan Chapter, Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Program

13:00
Opening Kenichi Iga
Address Toyomi Inamori, Managing Director, The Inamori Foundation
Address Yasuharu Suematsu, Chairman of the Kyoto Prize Committee; Director General, National Institute of Informatics
Laureate Lecture Izuo Hayashi - Laureate in Advanced Technology
"Succeeding in CW Oscillation of Semiconductor Lasers and Overcoming the Difficulties in Realization of Its Practical Usage"
Laureate Lecture Morton B. Panish - Laureate in Advanced Technology
"X - Ray Characterization of Superlattices, and Devices Exploiting Intersubband Transitions in Quantum Wells"
Laureate Lecture Zhores Ivanovich Alferov - Laureate in Advanced Technology
"Double Heterostructure Lasers: Past, Present and Future"
Intermission
Panel Discussion Co - Moderators:
Michiharu Nakamura, Chairman of the Kyoto Prize Screening Committee; Corporate Officer, President, Research and Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.
Kenichi Iga
Panelists:
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov
Izuo Hayashi
Morton B. Panish
Yasuharu Suematsu
Isamu Akasaki, Professor, High-Tech Research Center, Meijo University
Tetsuhiko Ikegami, Member of the Kyoto Prize Committee; President, The University of Aizu
17:30
Closing Kenichi Iga
PAGETOP