PISCATAWAY, N.J., Dec. 27 -- Herbert Kroemer, professor of electrical and computer engineering and of materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been named the 2002 recipient of the IEEE Medal of Honor. He is being honored for his pioneering work in heterostructure-based transistors and LEDs. The transistor portion of Kroemer's heterostructure research played a key role in the development of the cell phone and other wireless communications technologies.
Kroemer applied the heterostructure principle to LEDs, which allowed them to operate continuously at room temperature. This paved the way for the development of the semiconductor lasers used in CD players, fiber optics and other applications. It is also central to nonlaser LEDs. His Nobel Prize-winning work was published in a 1963 paper, "A Proposed Class of Heterojunction Injection Lasers," in the proceedings of the IEEE.