Home > News Release > Press Release > 2009 > NIMS Researcher Wins the 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize

NIMS Researcher Wins the 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize

First Award to an Asian Research Institute

Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering Science
National Institute for Materials Science

The Foresight Institute, which is an nonprofit organization located in the United States, has selected Designated Lecturer Yoshiaki Sugimoto and Associate Prof. Masayoshi Abe, both of Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering Science, and Group Leader Oscar Custance of National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) as the recipients of its 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology.

概要

The Foresight Institute, which is an nonprofit organization located in the United States, has selected Designated Lecturer Yoshiaki Sugimoto and Associate Prof. Masayoshi Abe, both of Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering Science, and Group Leader Oscar Custance(*Open in new window) of National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) as the recipients of its 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. This prize was proposed by the American physicist and Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Feynman, and is given each year to the researcher(s) who have made the most important contribution to the realization of “precision manufacturing at the atomic level by nanotechnology manipulating individual atoms.” Although previous recipients have included many distinguished researchers, this is the first time that Asian researchers and Asian research institutes have been so honored. The award ceremony is scheduled to be held in California in January 2010.
The achievement recognized by the award to these three scientists was the development of a technique for manipulating individual atoms on the surface of semiconductors using the atomic force microscope (AFM) in the Morita Laboratory at Osaka University, and in particular, demonstration that this can be performed under a room temperature environment. Techniques for manipulating individual atoms on material surfaces at cryogenic temperature have been reported since 1990. However, a technique for room-temperature atomic manipulation had been desired, as this is a key to practical application. In 2005, the recipients of the award discovered that replacement of heterogeneous atoms on semiconductor surfaces is possible using the ARM probe, and created an “atom inlay,” thereby demonstrating that the positions of surface atoms can be rearranged as desired at room temperature (published in Nature Materials 4 (2005) 156). In 2007, the group showed that element identification of individual atoms on a semiconductor surface is possible, expanding the range of applications of the room-temperature atomic manipulation technique (published in Nature 446 (2007) 64). Continuing on this work, the group developed a technique for directly implanting the atoms at the tip of the AFM probe at designated positions on a surface, and realized high speed room temperature atomic manipulation (published in Science 322 (2008) 413). Application of these techniques is expected to lead to further improvement in the performance of electronic devices as micro-engineering of these devices advances, and creation of novel atomic-level devices and materials based on completely new principles.



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