UCSB Engineering

Shuji Nakamura


Shuji Nakamura


Materials Department
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: 805-893-5552

Personal web site

Research Description

Shuji Nakamura's research includes MOCVD, UVPE, and growth and device fabrication of light-emitters based on the wide-bandgap semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN).
Professor Nakamura’s work has launched a new sector in light-producing semiconductor research, made possible the widescale industrial production of efficient, energy-saving LED and created the conditions for applications that improve the quality of human life. His blue lasers have enabled the next generation of optical storage, and his LED work has enabled highly efficient lighting systems suitable for significantly reducing consumption of the world’s resources. Shuji Nakamura’s invention of ultraviolet LEDs also improves the sterilisation of drinking water with the use of ultraviolet LEDs making the water purification process both cheaper and more efficient.


Nakamura graduated from the University of Tokushima in 1977 with a degree in electronic engineering, and obtained a master's degree in the same subject two years later, after which he joined the Nichia Corporation, also based in Tokushima. He was awarded a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Tokushima in 1994. He left Nichia Corporation in 1999 and took a position as a professor of engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara


  • Harvey Prize by Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 2009
  • Japanese Science of Applied Physics (JSAP)Outstanding Paper Award for the “Demonstration of Nonpolar m-Plane InGaN/GaN Laser Diode”, 2008
  • The Prince of Asturias Award for Technical Scientific Research, 2008
  • Czochralski Award, 2007
  • Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce Innovator of the Year Award, 2007
  • Finland's Millennium Technology Prize, 2006
  • Global Innovation Leader Award, Optical Media Global Industry Awards, 2006
  • Millennium Technology Prize, Finland, 2006
  • The Society for Information Display Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize, 2004
  • Blue Spectrum Pioneer Awards, 2003
  • CompoundSemi Pioneer Award, 2003
  • National Academy of Engineering Member, 2003
  • IEEE/LEOS Quantum Electronics Award, 2002
  • Recipient of the Franklin Institute’s 2002 Benjamin Franklin Medall in Engineering, 2002
  • Takeda Award, 2002
  • The Economist Innovation Award 2002 “No Boundaries”, 2002
  • World Technology Award, 2002
  • Asahi Award, 2001
  • Cree Professor in Solid State Lighting and Display Endowed Chair, 2001
  • LEOS Distinguished Lecturer Award, 2001
  • OSA Nick Holonyak Award, 2001
  • Carl Zeiss Research Award, 2000
  • Crystal Growth and Crystal Technology Award, 2000
  • Takayanagi Award, 2000