The Gregori Aminoff Prize in crystallography for 2007 is awarded to Sumio Iijima for his structural studies of carbon nanotubes. The prize will be presented at the symposium “Carbon Nanotubes – with an eye on the nanoworld” at the Academy on 13-14 June.
Carbon nanotubes are the basis of one of today´s hottest fields of research. These miniscule carbon tubes are a rolled-up variant of graphite that forms a family of many different individuals. They have a wide spectrum of interesting electrical, mechanical and thermal properties. They are stronger than steel, conduct electricity better than copper and are better heat conductors than diamond.
Ever since nanotubes were discovered, attempts have been made to utilise these excellent properties. Their electronic properties combined with their mechanical strength and thermal conductivity make them interesting for applications within electronics whereas their extremely high elasticity combined with their great flexibility makes them interesting as fibre reinforcement in composite materials.
Professor Sumio Iijima, Meijo University and NEC Laboratories, is a pioneer in the field of nanotube research. He determined the atomic structure of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and was the first to report the fabrication and characterization of single-walled carbon nanotubes
The understanding we have today of the importance of the detailed atomic understanding of the structure of carbon nanotubes is the direct consequence of Iijima´s work. His structural work has been of revolutionary significance for both nanoscience and nanoelectronics.
Ph.D.: 1968, Tohoku University, Sendai
Current post: Meijo University, Faculty of Science and Technology (Director, AIST/Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials & NEC Special Research Fellow) Nagoya, Japan.