Sumio Iijima

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ja:飯島澄男 de:Sumio Iijima Sumio Iijima (飯島 澄男 Iijima Sumio, born May 2, 1939) is a Japanese physicist, best known for discovering carbon nanotubes in 1991.

Iijima graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1963 from the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo. He received a Master's degree in 1965 and completed his Ph.D. in solid-state physics in 1968, both at Tohoku University in Sendai.

Between 1970 and 1982 he performed research with crystalline materials and high-resolution electron microscopy at Arizona State University. He visited University of Cambridge during 1979 to perform studies on carbon materials.

He worked for the Research Development Corporation of Japan from 1982 to 1987, studying ultra-fine particles, after which he joined NEC Corporation where he is still employed. He discovered carbon nanotubes in 1991 while working with NEC. He is also a professor at Meijo University since 1999.

He was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics in 2002, "for the discovery and elucidation of the atomic structure and helical character of multi-wall and single-wall carbon nanotubes, which have had an enormous impact on the rapidly growing condensed matter and materials science field of nanoscale science and electronics."

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