National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

Serving Nanoscale Science, Engineering & Technology

NNIN Congratulates Profs. Nakamura and Moerner on Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry

NNIN congratulates Professor William E. Moerner, Stanford University, and Professor Shuji Nakamura, University of California Santa Barbara, 2014 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Physics, respectively. Both Prof. Moerner and Prof. Nakamura are users of NNIN facilities.

Professor Shuji Nakamura of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) is one of three recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources."  Nobel Laureate (2014) Shuji Nakamura developed GaN LEDs during his time at Nichia Corporation. He joined the faculty at UCSB in 1999. As part of the Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center at UCSB, Prof. Nakamura’s students have continued to develop GaN-based LEDs at the UCSB NNIN facilities. In 2008, Prof. Nakamura, along with fellow UCSB professors Dr. Steven DenBaars and Dr. James Speck, founded Soraa, a developer of solid-state lighting technology built on pure gallium nitride substrates. Soraa used the UCSB NNIN facilities in its startup phases and continues to use these facilities today.

Professor William E. Moerner of Stanford University is one of three recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy." Professor Moerner’s research group has used the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, the NNIN shared facility at Stanford, to fabricate the nanoscale bowtie-shaped antennas for enhancing the coupling of light to single molecules. Dr. Eric Betzig, one of Prof. Moerner’s co-laureates, also has connection to NNIN, in that he received initial training in nanoscience as a graduate student in what is now the NNIN shared facility at Cornell University.  Dr. Betzig is currently at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network ( is a 14-site network of open nanotechnology user facilities funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).  The mission is to support research across all nanoscience and engineering disciplines by providing integrated collections of nanofabrication tools whose cost is beyond the level that can be supported by most universities and small companies.  NSF funding allows thousands of academic, industrial, and government researchers from across the country to utilize these advanced tools on a shared basis.  Expert staff members provide user training, processing advice, and tool maintenance.  The NNIN currently hosts more than 6400 researchers per year, from more than 200 academic institutions, 370 small companies, and 80 large companies.