TSUKUBA, Japan, Aug. 28, 2020 /Kyodo JBN/--
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
The International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), a unit of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), welcomed Honorary Professor Hideo Hosono of Tokyo Institute of Technology as a NIMS Distinguished Fellow and the leader of the Electro-Active Materials Team.
Prof. Hosono, the world-renowned researcher, is famous for creating amorphous oxide semiconductor IGZO-TFTs and room temperature-stable electrides, and discovering iron-based superconductors. He discusses his life and work in an interview.
Q: You have done important work in a variety of fields. What’s your secret?
“I don’t have any secrets. I’ve just been focusing on what I want to do without restrictions on the technical or academic field. For example, chemistry and physics as two separate disciplines have little meaning in materials science. My main interest is in functional materials utilizing electrons in solids. In the case of semiconductors, I study the movement of electrons under an electric field, and superconductors are similar--you manipulate electrons in catalysis to react with molecules on a surface.
“My PhD thesis was on line shape analysis of electron spin resonance spectra in glass--rather fundamental work. After that, I did joint work in the material sciences department at Nagoya Institute of Technology, where I worked with ceramics, especially photoactive glasses and protonic conduction in glass. I did ion implantation into SiO2 glass for a year at Vanderbilt University in the U.S. as well as research at Oak Ridge National Lab, in Tennessee.
“I returned to Japan, to Tokyo Tech, and changed my research topic from photoactive glasses to oxide semiconductors. The most visible result of my work at that time was the proposal of transparent amorphous oxide semiconductors for thin film transistors, leading to the IGZO TFT, which is now used in high-resolution LCD panels such as tablets and OLEDs for TV screens. When I started this research in 1993, there was almost no work being done in the field. But now, 25 years later, oxide semiconductors are the world standard for TFTs for flat-panel displays and beyond. It was during this work on oxide semiconductors that we discovered iron-based superconductors.”