Esaki's work at Sony was in the field of quantum mechanics and concentrated
on the phenomenon of tunneling, in which the wavelike character of matter
enables electrons to pass through barriers that the laws of classical
mechanics say are impenetrable. He devised ways to modify the behaviour
of solid-state semiconductors by adding impurities, or "doping"
them. This work led to his invention of the double diode, which became
known as the Esaki diode. It also opened new possibilities for solid-state
developments that his co-recipients of the 1973 prize exploited separately.
In 1960 Esaki was awarded an IBM (International Business Machines) fellowship
for further research in the United States, and he subsequently joined
IBM's research laboratories in Yorktown, N.Y. He retained his Japanese
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