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Hideki Shirakawa

Hideki ShirakawaBorn: 20-Aug-1936
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Japan
Executive summary: Metallic polymers

Japanese chemist Hideki Shirakawa won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000, for experimental research that showed that certain plastics can be chemically altered to conduct electricity almost as efficiently as metals. Plastics have routinely been used as insulation because their nature resolutely rebuffs electrical current, so Shirakawa's finding, in collaboration with his fellow Nobel laureates Alan J. Heeger and Alan G. MacDiarmid, was startling. The practical applications of his work have included the bright display screens on cell phones and anti-static coating on photographic film. Shirakawa, who retired in 2000, has been at the forefront of research into acetylene polymerization using liquid crystals as solvents, and the design and synthesis of conjugated liquid crystalline polymers and polyacetylene thin films.

Father: Hatsutarou (physician)
Mother: Fuyuno
Wife: Chiyoko Shibuya (m. 1966, two sons)
Son: Chihiro
Son: Yasuki

    University: Hida Takayama High School, Takayama, Japan
    University: BS Chemical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology (1961)
    University: PhD Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology (1966)
    Scholar: Chemical Resources Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology (1966-76)
    Scholar: Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (1976-79)
    Teacher: Institute of Materials Science, University of Tsukuba (1979-82)
    Professor: Institute of Materials Science, University of Tsukuba (1982-2000)
    Professor: Emeritus, University of Tsukuba (2000-)

    SPSJ Award 1982
    SPSJ Award for Distinguished Service 1999
    Japanese Order of Culture 2000
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2000 (with Alan J. Heeger and Alan G. MacDiarmid)
    Person of Cultural Merit 2000
    CSJ Special Award 2001
    Chemical Society of Japan
    Society of Polymer Science, Japan
    Japanese Ancestry

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