Jun-ichi Nishizawa
Born Template:Birth date and age
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Nationality Japan
Institutions Tohoku University
lwate Prefectural University
Tokyo Metropolitan University
Sophia University
Alma mater Tohoku University
Notable awards IEEE Edison Medal Template:Small
Order of Culture

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, born September 12, 1926) is a Japanese engineer and inventor. He is known for his electronic inventions since the 1950s, including optical communication systems (optical fiber, laser diode, etc.), PIN diode, semiconductor laser, static induction transistor, and SIT/SITh. His inventions laid the foundations for internet technology and the information age.[1]

He is currently 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.[2] The PIN photodiode was also invented by Nishizawa and his colleagues in 1950.[3] This was the basis for the laser diode.

In 1952, he invented the avalanche photodiode. In 1955, he invented the first solid-state maser.[4] In 1957, he invented the semiconductor laser.[4][5]

While working at at Tohoku University, he proposed fiber-optic communication, the use of optical fibers for optical communication, in 1963.[6] Nishizawa invented other 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.[7][8] He patented the graded-index optical fiber in 1964.[5]

In 1971, he invented the static induction thyristor.[4][9]

Hardware elements providing the basis of internet technology, the three essential elements of optical communication, were invented by Nishizawa: the semiconductor laser (1957) being the light source, the graded-index optical fiber (1964) as the transmission line, and the pin photodiode (1950) as the optical receiver.[5]

Awards and honorsEdit

Nishizawa is 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.[10] He also received the Japan Academy Prize (1974),[10] IEEE Jack A. Morton Award (1983),[11] the Honda Prize and the Laudise Prize of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (1989).[12] IEEE conferred the Edison Medal on him in 2000,[13] and introduced the IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal in 2002.[14][15][16]


External linksEdit

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