On 13th November, Prof. Hideo Ohno from Tohoku University received the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Warsaw. He is an outstanding Japanese physicist of condensed matter.

Prof. Hideo Ohno’s research interests include semiconductor systems with embedded magnetic properties. The Japanese scientist is considered a leading figure in the world of spintronics, the science dedicated to the study of spin-dependent properties of condensed matter and the search for phenomena that can be used to build instruments for the next generation of information and communication technologies.


Prof. Ohno received his doctoral degree from the University of Tokyo in 1982. Between 1982 and 1983, he was a lecturer at the School of Engineering at Hokkaido University. From 1983 to 1994, he was working as an associate professor at this university. He was a visiting scientist at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center from 1988 to 1990. In 1994, the physicist was appointed a professor at Tohoku University, and a professor at the Research Institute of Electrical Communication from 1995. In 2004, he became the head of the Laboratory of Nanoelectronics and Spintronics at Tohoku University. From 2010 until March 2018, Prof. Ohno served as the Director of the Center for Spintronics Integrated Systems. As of 2018, he is the President of Tohoku University.


Groundbreaking achievements

The scientific output of the Japanese scientist is extensive. The distinguished physicist has published over 500 academic papers, including groundbreaking articles that set directions for further research. Prof Ohno’s articles have been published in scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Materials, and Physical Review Letters. His papers have been cited more than 104,000 times and his Hirsh index exceeds 115. Prof. Ohno is the co-author of 119 patent families (the same invention patented in different countries), including 77 US patents.


Contemporary information technologies use semiconductors to process information and ferromagnetic materials to store it. Prof Hideo Ohno pioneered the development of a new class of materials – ferromagnetic III-V semiconductor compounds which combine the advantages of magnetics and semiconductors. After mastering the growth, characterisation and processing of this material system, Prof. Ohno has designed a series of structures and devices, in which groundbreaking functionalities have been demonstrated by his team, with an enormous impact on the entire field of spintronics and its large-scale applications.


Together with his team at Tohoku University and collaborations with international researchers, Prof Ohno contributed to a large number of discoveries. Three discoveries proved to be groundbreaking for condensed matter physics. The first relates to the studies, in which an electric field can be used to control the value and direction of magnetism. The second discovery is the experimental demonstration that domain-walls can be moved by an electric current without a magnetic field. The third discovery is the construction of a prototype processor containing embedded spintronic memory cells and the demonstration of their record-breaking characteristics: speed of operation and energy efficiency.


Warsaw-Japanese collaboration

Prof. Ohno contributed to the research of magnetic semiconductor materials. He has collaborated with researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw for more than twenty years. The cooperation includes numerous scientific discussions, joint publications and access to unique samples produced in Prof Ohno’s laboratory.


In 1997, the Polish-Japanese Symposium on Magnetic Semiconductors took place, organised jointly with the scientist. In the following years, such symposia were continued in Warsaw and Japan.


For his research and scientific achievements, Prof. Ohno has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards, including the IBM Japan Science Award (1998), the IUPAP Magnetism Prize (2003), Japan Academy Prize (2005), Presidential Prize for Research Excellence, Tohoku University (2005).


The ceremony of awarding the honorary title was held on 13th November in the Kazimierzowski Palace.


The resolution to grant the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Warsaw to Prof. Hideo Ohno was adopted on 16th June 2021 by the University of Warsaw Senate.

The ceremony for the awarding the UW honorary title took place on 13th November at 12.00 pm in the Senate Hall of the Kazimierzowski Palace.