Date
19 September 2017
Ching W. Tang, 67, is a physical chemist and professor at the University of Rochester and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Photo: HKUST
Ching W. Tang, 67, is a physical chemist and professor at the University of Rochester and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Photo: HKUST

HK professor tipped to win Nobel for inventing OLED

Hong Kong-born professor Ching W. Tang, who invented the organic light emitting diode (OLED), is among the top contenders for the Nobel Prize for chemistry this year, according to Thomson Reuters.

The OLED, invented by Tang and Steven Van Slyke in 1987, is now ubiquitously used to illuminate smartphones, tablets and high-definition television sets.

Tang, who was born in Yuen Long in 1947, is an American physical chemist and professor at the University of Rochester and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The Nobel, one of the most prestigious international awards given annually for outstanding achievements and contributions in the scientific and cultural fields, is usually announced in October.

Through its Intellectual Property & Science unit, Thomson Reuters has been giving out predictions on the likely winners. Since 2002, the unit has accurately predicted 35 Nobel laureates, including nine who won in the year of the forecast and 16 who won within two years.

Besides Tang, three other individuals of Chinese descent are on Thomson Reuters’ list for 2014, which includes 27 researchers representing 27 distinct academic and research organizations across nine countries.

Robert Tjian, a professor of biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology at the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology of the University of California Berkeley and president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Berkeley, has been nominated for his contributions in fundamental discoveries concerning eukaryotic transcription and gene regulation.

Zhang Shoucheng, J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics at Stanford University, may win the prize for physics with his co-researchers for theoretical and experimental research on the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators.

Also for physics, another possible winner is Yang Peidong, also from the University of California Berkeley, for his work with light-generating nanowires which can be used for data storage and optical computing.

The Nobel for chemistry, physics and medicine will be announced in early October.

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