Researchers to get Franklin awards for blue diode, nanotubes


Two Japanese researchers will be awarded the 2002 Franklin Institute medals for their outstanding work in the fields of physics and engineering, the U.S.-based institute said Monday.

They are Sumio Iijima, a research fellow at NEC Corp., and Shuji Nakamura, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the institute said.

Iijima will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics for his 1991 discovery of carbon nanotubes. The carbon atom, which has an ultrafine tubulous structure, is the basis of a new electronics material.

Nakamura will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering for his 1993 development of violet/blue laser diodes, expected to be used in next-generation DVDs.

The awards ceremony will be held April 25 at the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia.

Since its foundation in 1824, the institute has been bestowing its awards on men and women whose research achievements reflect the spirit, innovation and inspiration of Benjamin Franklin.

Past Franklin Institute laureates include Alexander Graham Bell, Pierre and Marie Curie, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

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