Kenichi Iga

Prof. Emeritus/Former President

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Title:VCSEL: Its Invention and Initial Research and Development


The VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) is a new type of semiconductor laser and now generating new applications such as high-speed local area networks, computer mice, parallel optical interconnects, laser printers, face recognition systems, Lidars, and various optical sensors.


Kenichi IGA received the B.E., M.E., and Dr. Eng. degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in 1963, 1965 and 1968, respectively. From 1968, he joined the P&I Lab., Tokyo Institute of Technology, became Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1984. He retired Tokyo Institute of Technology in March 2001 and was awarded by Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Iga joined Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) as Executive Director from April 2001 to September 2007. He has been serving as the President of Tokyo Institute of Technology from October 2007 till September 2012. From 1979 to 1980, he stayed at Bell Laboratories as Visiting Technical Staff Member.

Prof. Iga first proposed and pioneered the research of surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and microoptics. He received 1992 IEEE/LEOS William Streifer Award, 1998 IEEE/OSA John Tyndall Award, 2003 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award, 2002 Rank Prize, 2001 Purple Ribbon Prize, 2003 Fujiwara Award, 2007 C&C Prize, and 2009 NHK Broadcast Cultural Award. In 2013, he was awarded 2013 Franklin Medal with the Bower Award and Prize in Science.

Also Prof. Iga was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold and Silver Star in 2018.