2007 Balzan Prize for Nanoscience
Biographical and Bibliographical Data
Sumio Iijima, born in Saitama, Japan, on 2 May 1939, is a Japanese citizen.
At present, he is Professor at Meijo University in Nagoya, Director of the Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, and Special Research Fellow of NEC Laboratories.
Sumio Iijima graduated from the University of Electro-Communication in Tokyo in 1963, and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Tohoku University in 1969. In 1970 he became Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University, where he was Senior Research Associate from 1976 until 1982. After returning to Japan in 1982 to work in the Ultra-Fine Particle Project of the Japanese government research agency (JST) for 5 years, he joined NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories in Tsukuba as a research fellow in 1987. He was appointed Professor at Meijo University in Nagoya in 1999 and Director of the Research Center for Advanced Carbon Material at AIST in Tsukuba in 2002.
He is currently Member of the Physical Society of Japan, the Japan Society of Applied Physics, the Japanese Society of Microscopy (President in 2002-2003), the Chemical Society of Japan, the American Physical Society (Fellow), and the Microscope Society of America. Sumio Iijima is Chief Editor of NANO and Associate Editor of Nanostructures Materials, Member of the Advisory Editorial Board of Ultramicroscopy and Member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Electron Microscopy, and the Journal of Applied Physics.
He has received numerous awards and prizes, including the following: the Eugene Warren Diffraction Physics Award (1976), the Nishina Memorial Award (1985), the Agilent Europhysics Prize (2001), the J.C.McGroddy Prize, the APS (2002), the Japan Academy Award and the Imperial Award (2002), the Person of Cultural Merits of the Japanese government (2003), the Society’s Medal of Achievement in Carbon Science and Technology, the ACS (2004), the Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography, the KVA (2007). He has received various Doctor Honoris Causa such as from the University of Antwerp (2002), EPF Lausanne (2003), and Peking University (2005).
Statement of accomplishments:
In 1991, Iijima discovered carbon nanotubes (1). He made the best use of his sophisticated high-resolution transmission electron microscopy techniques, which he himself developed, to elucidate the fact that carbon nanotubes are composed of concentric graphene tubes and have a helical atomic arrangement.
In 1993, Iijima showed that single-wall nanotubes can be synthesized by a DC arc-discharge of carbon with co-existing metal catalysts (2). In recent years, single-wall carbon nanotubes have been recognized as an ideal one-dimensional substance possessing unique physical and chemical properties that are determined by helicity and diameter. These properties have attracted many researchers in a wide range of fields from academia to industry.
The internal hollow spaces and surfaces of carbon nanotubes were shown to provide an entirely new opportunity. Iijima investigated the topology of carbon nanotubes and found that their growth is terminated by introducing five-member rings of carbon into a six-member ring network, which results in capped carbon nanotubes (3). He also discovered that introducing five- and/or seven-member rings into the carbon network during the growth of carbon nanotubes makes rich topological variations (4).
Recently, Iijima has further developed atom-sensitive electron microscopy using electron energy loss spectroscopy, and he has even succeeded in detecting the single-atom impurities (or dopants) in carbon nanotubes (5,6). He has thus revealed all of the atomic structures of carbon nanotubes: in 2004 he visualized the individual carbon atoms in carbon nanotubes (7) and provided the first evidence for the point defects in graphene layers, such as vacancies and dislocations (8,9), and in 2005 he eventually elucidated the chirality and handedness relationship between adjacent layers as well as the interlayer defect structures in double-wall carbon nanotubes (10). More recently Iijima has been working to produce single-wall carbon nanotubes in large quantities for the industrial application of carbon nanotubes (11,12).
(1) “Helical micro-tubules of graphitic carbon”, S. Iijima, Nature, 345, 56-58 (1991).
(2) “Single shell carbon nanotubes of one nanometer diameter”, S. Iijima and T. Ichihashi, Nature, 363, 603-605 (1993).
(3) “Pentagon, heptagon and negative curvature in graphite microtubule growth”, S. Iijima T. Ichihashi and Y. Ando, Nature, 356, 776-778 (1992).
(4) “Growth model for carbon nano-tubes”, S. Iijima, P. M. Ajayan and T. Ichihashi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 3100-3103 (1992).
(5) “Opening Carbon Nanotubes with Oxgen and Implications for filling”, P.M. Ajayan,T. W. Ebbesen, T. Ichihashi, S. Iijima, K. Tanigaki and H. Hiura, Nature, 362, 522-523 (1993).
(6) “One-dimensional metallofullerene crystal generated inside single-walled carbon nanotubes”, K. Hirahara, K. Suenaga, S. Bandow, H. Kato, T. Okazaki, H. Shinohara and S. Iijima, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 5384-5387 (2000).
(7) “Element-selective single atom imaging”, K. Suenaga, M, Tencé, C. Mory, C. Colliex, H. Kato, T. Okazaki, H. Shinohara, K. Hirahara, S. Bandow and S. Iijima, Science, 290, 2280-2282 (2000).
(8) “Direct evidence for atomic defects in graphene layers”, A. Hashimoto, K. Suenaga, A. Gloter, K. Urita and S. Iijima, Nature, 430, 870-873 (2004).
(9) “Direct imaging of the Alkali metal site in K-doped fullerene peapods”, L. Guan, K. Suenaga, Z. Shi, Z. Gu and S. Iijima, Phys. Rev. Lett., 94, 045502 (1)-(4) (2005).
(10) “Determination of Optical Isomers for Left-Handed or Right-Handed Chiral Double-Wall Carbon Nanotubes”, Z. Liu, K. Suenaga, H. Yoshida, T. Sugai, H. Shinohara and S. Iijima, Phys. Rev. Lett., 95, 187406 (1)-(4) (2005).
(11) “Water-assisted highly efficient synthesis of impurity-free single-walled carbon nanotubes”, K. Hata, D.N. Futaba, K. Mizuno, T. Namai, M. Yumura and S. Iijima, Science, 306, 1362-1364 (2004).
(12) “Shape-engineerable and highly densely packed single-walled carbon nanotubes and their application as super-capacitor electrodes”, Don N. Futaba, Kenji Hata, Takeo Yamada, Tatsuki Hiraoka, Yuhei Hayamizu, Yozo Kakudate, Osamu Tanaike, Hiroaki Hatori, Motoo Yumura, Sumio Iiijima, Nat. Mater., 5, 987-994 (2006).