Zhores Ivanovich Alferov biography - Студенческий научный форум

XII Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2020

Zhores Ivanovich Alferov biography

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Born March 15, 1930 is a Soviet and Russian physicist and academic who contributed significantly to the creation of modern heterostructure physics and electronics. He is an inventor of the heterotransistor and the winner of 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is also a Russian politician and has been a member of the Russian State Parliament, the Duma, since 1995. Lately, he has become one of the most influential members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Parents of Zheres Alferov

Life goes on surprisingly fast. It seems to happen a short time ago that I would attend anniversary celebrations in honour of noted physicists, my teachers who to my mind looked quite old. But at the present time, I myself have recently marked the 70th birthday.

My parents, Ivan Karpovich, and Anna Vladimirovna, had been Byelorussia born and raised. At the age of eighteen my father arrived in Saint Petersburg, in the year 1912. In his early hard years, he had been a docker, an errand boy and consequently got a job as a worker at the “Lessner” plant (later the Karl Marx Plant).

During World War I, he was a brave hussar, a non-commissioned officer of the Life Guards, a holder of the St. George Order. In September 1917, my father joined the Bolshevik party and retained his adherence to the socialist and communist principles to the end of his life.

Birth and education

Alferov was born in Vitebsk, BSSR, Soviet Union to a Belarusian father and a Jewish mother. In 1952 he graduated from V. I. Ulyanov (Lenin) Electrotechnical Institute in Leningrad. Since 1953 he has worked in the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From the Institute he earned several scientific degrees: a Candidate of Sciences in Technology in 1961 and a Doctor of Sciences in Physics and Mathematics in 1970. He has been director of the Institute since 1987. He was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972, and a full member in 1979. From 1989 he has been Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences and President of its Saint Petersburg Scientific Center. Since 1995 he is a member of the State Duma on the list of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. He received 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Herbert Kroemer, "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and optoelectronics".

Alferov invented the heterotransistor. This coped with much higher frequencies than its predecessors, and apparently revolutionised the mobile phone and satellite communications. Alverov and Kroemer independently applied this technology to firing laser lights. This in turn revolutionised semiconductor design in a host of areas, including LEDs, barcodes readers and CDs.

Hermann Grimmeiss, of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards Nobel prizes, said: "Without Alferov, it would not be possible to transfer all the information from satellites down to the Earth or to have so many telephone lines between cities."

Research area

Since 1962 he has been working in the area of semiconductor heterostructures. His contributions to physics and technology of semiconductor heterostructures, especially investigations of injection properties, development of lasers, solar cells, LED's, and epitaxy processes have led to the creation of modern heterostructure physics and electronics.

He has an almost messianic conception of heterostructures, writing: "Many scientists have contributed to this remarkable progress, which not only determines in large measure the future prospects of solid state physics, but in a certain sense affects the future of human society as well.

Political activity

Alferov was elected to the Russian State Parliament, the Duma in 1995 as a deputy for the political party Our Home is Russia, generally considered to be supportive of the policies of President Boris Yeltsin. In 1999 he was elected again, this time on the list of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. He was re-elected in 2003 and again in 2007, when he was placed second on the party's federal electoral list behind Gennady Zyuganov and ahead of Nikolai Kharitonov, even though he is not a member of the party. He was one of the signers of the Open letter to the President Vladimir V. Putin from the Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences against clericalisation of Russia.

Non-profit service

Alferov serves on the advisory council of CRDF Global.


Russian and Soviet Awards

Order of Merit for the Fatherland:

1st class (14 March 2005) - for outstanding contribution to the development of national science and active participation in legislative activities;

2nd class (2000);

3rd class (June 4, 1999) - for outstanding contribution to the development of national science and training of highly qualified personnel in connection with the 275th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

4th class (March 15, 2010) - for services to the state contribution to the development of national science and many years of fruitful activity

Order of Lenin (1986)

Order of the October Revolution (1980)

Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1975)

Order of the Badge of Honour (1959)

State Prize of the Russian Federation (2001) in Science and Technology (August 5, 2002) for his work, "Fundamental studies of the formation and properties of heterostructures with quantum dots and the creation of lasers based on them"

Lenin Prize (1972) - for basic research in semiconductors and heterojunction development of new devices based on them

USSR State Prize (1984) - for developing isoperiodic heterostructures based on quaternary solid solutions of A3B5 semiconductor compounds

Foreign Awards

Order of Francisc Skorina (Belarus, 17 May 2001) - for his great personal contribution to the development of physical science, the organization of the Belarussian-Russian scientific and technical cooperation, strengthening the friendship between the peoples of Belarus and Russia

Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (Ukraine, 15 May 2003) - for personal contribution to the development of cooperation between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in the socio-economic and humanitarian spheres

Other Awards

Nobel Prize in Physics (Sweden, 2000; with Herbert Kroemer and Jack Kilby) - for the development of semiconductor heterostructures for high-speed optoelectronics

Nick Holonyak Award (Optical Society of U.S., 2000)

Hewlett-Pakkardovskaya Prize (European Physical Society, 1978) - for new works in the field of heterojunctions

AP Karpinsky Prize (Germany, 1989) - for his contributions to physics and technology of heterostructures

AF Ioffe award (RAN, 1996) - for work, "Photoelectric converters of solar radiation on the basis of heterostructures"

Demidov Prize (Scientific Demidov Foundation, Russia, 1999)

Kyoto Prize (Inamori Foundation, Japan, 2001) - for success in creating semiconductor lasers operating in continuous mode at room temperature - a pioneer step in optoelectronics

Vernadsky Award (NAS, 2001)

"Russian National Olympus". The title "living legend" (Russia, 2001)

International Energy Prize "Global Energy" (Russia, 2005)

H. Welker Gold Medal (1987) - for pioneering work on the theory and technology of devices based on III-V compounds of groups

The Stuart Ballantine Medal (Franklin Institute, USA, 1971) - for the theoretical and experimental studies of double-heterostructure laser, which were created by laser light sources of small size, operating in continuous mode at room temperature

Popov Gold Medal (Academy of Sciences, 1999)

SPIE Gold Medal (2002)

Award Symposium on GaAs (1987) - for pioneering work in semiconductor heterostructures based on III-V compounds and group development of diode lasers and photodiodes

Awarded "Golden Plate" (Academy of Achievement, USA, 2002)

XLIX Mendeleev Reader - 19 February 1993

Honorary Professor of the medal and MIPT (2008)

Honorary Doctor of the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (State Educational Institution of the Russian-Armenian (Slavic) University, Armenia, 2011)

Alferov Zhores Ivanovich died on March 1, 2019.

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