Hideki Shirakawa


Dr. Hideki Shirakawa was born in Tokyo on August 20, 1936. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1961, 1963, and 1966, respectively. After completion of his Ph.D, he joined to late Professor Sakuji Ikeda's group at Research Laboratory for Resources Utilization, Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he investigated acetylene polymerization by Ziegler-Natta catalysts for elucidation of the polymerization mechanism. In 1967, he noticed on formation of polyacetylene in a form of thin film with metallic luster through an unforeseeable experimental failure by one of his coworker. By chance, this silvery film caught the eyes of Professor Alan G. MacDiarmid, he was invited to work with him in University of Pennsylvania for one year during 1996 and 1997, where they found the chemical doping of acetylene jointly with Professor Alan J. Heeger.

In November 1979, he moved from Tokyo Institute of Technology to the Institute of Materials Science, University of Tsukuba, where he was appointed Associate Professor. In October 1982, he was promoted to full Professor and worked on polyacetylene and other conducting polymers. He retired from University of Tsukuba at the end of March 2000. He is currently a member of Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office.

He received the Award of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan in 1983, Award for Distinguished Service in Advancement of Polymer Science, from the Society of Polymer Science, Japan in 2000, Order of Culture in 2000 from Japanese Government and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000.


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