Zhores Ivanovich Alferov was born on March 15, 1930, in Vitsebsk, Byelorussian SSR (now Belarus). In 1952, he graduated from V. I. Ulyanov (Lenin) Electrotechnical Institute in Leningrad (abbreviated to LETI). Since 1953, he has worked in the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Russian Academy of Sciences since 1991). From the Institute he earned scientific degrees: a Candidate of Sciences in Technology in 1961 and a Doctor of Sciences in Physics and Mathematics in 1970. Director of the Institute since 1987, he was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972 and a full member in 1979. From 1989, he has been Vice-President of the USSR (Russian since 1991) Academy of Sciences and President of its Saint Petersburg Scientific Center.
Since 1962, he has been working in the area of semiconductor heterostructures. His contributions to physics and technology of semiconductor heterostructures, especially investigations of injection properties, development of lasers, solar cells, LED's, and epitaxy processes have led to the creation of modern heterostructure physics and electronics.
In 2000, Alferov received the Nobel Prize for Physics, with Herbert Kroemer and Jack Kilby.
Lenin Prize (1972)
USSR State Prize (1984)
Ioffe Prize (Russian Academy of Sciences, 1996)
Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology (2001)
The following press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences describes Alferov's work:
In today's society increasing amounts of information flow from our computers out through the optical fibres of the Internet and through our mobile telephones to satellite radio links all over the world. Two simple but fundamental requirements are put on a modern information system for it to be practically useful. It must be fast, so that large volumes of information can be transferred in a short time. The user's apparatus must be small so that there is room for it in offices, homes, briefcases or pockets.
Through their inventions this year's Nobel Laureates in physics have laid a stable foundation for modern information technology. Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer have invented and developed fast opto- and microelectronic components based on layered semiconductor structures, termed semiconductor heterostructures. Fast transistors built using heterostructure technology are used in e.g. radio link satellites and the base stations of mobile telephones. Laser diodes built with the same technology drive the flow of information in the Internet's fibre-optical cables. They are also found in CD players, bar-code readers and laser pointers. With heterostructure technology powerful light-emitting diodes are being built for use in car brake-lights, traffic lights and other warning lights. Electric bulbs may in the future be replaced by light-emitting diodes.
Zhores I. Alferov born 1930 in Vitebsk, White Russia, then the Soviet Union. Doctor's degree in physics and mathematics 1970 at A.F. Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), Russia. Director of this Institute since 1987.