Nick Holonyak (USA) 2003

Awarded the Global Energy Prize for his invention of the first semiconductor LEDs (light-emitting diodes) in the visible region of the light spectrum, and his role as founder of the new field of silicon electronics and micro-electronics for power applications.

John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Nick Holonyak was born on November 3, 1928 in in Zeigler, Illinois, USA. In 1954 he received his PhD from the Illinois University.

In 1956 his published work played a unique role for power silicon electronics and silicon microelectronics development. In 1957 Nick Holonyak became the main creator of power silicon electronics. Two years later, he invented the first semi-conducting light-emitting diodes. In 1963 Holonyak commenced searching quantum wells and quantum-well lasers. Nick Holonyak made a substantial contribution to the development of silicon p-n-p-n keys and controlled silicon rectifiers. This semi-conducting device is at present widely used in numerous power units.

Since 2007 he has been the Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois.

In 2003 Nick Holonyak became the Laureate of Global Energy International Prize for the contribution to the development of power silicon electronics and invention of the first semi-conducting light-emitting diodes in a visible part of the spectrum.

Scientific activities

  • Author of a unique work on the development of power silicon electronics and silicon microelectronics.
  • One of the founders of power silicon electronics.
  • Created the first semiconductor visible light laser.
  • Was engaged in the problems of quantum wells and quantum well lasers.
  • Made a great contribution to the creation of controlled silicon rectifiers and silicon p-n-p-n keys.


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December 2019