Joseph Jacobson

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For the figure skater, see Joseph Jacobsen.

Joseph Jacobson, a native and resident of Newton, Massachusetts, is a tenured professor and head of the Molecular Machines group at the Center for Bits and Atoms at the MIT Media Lab, and developed an early type of electronic ink. He is the founder of several companies including E Ink Corporation, Gen9, Inc., and Kovio, is on the scientific board of several more companies (such as Epitome Biosystems).

Education and career[edit]

Jacobson received his bachelors in physics from Brown University, his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT, and did his post-doc at Stanford University in experimental and theoretical nonlinear non-local quantum systems. While at Stanford, he set the world record for the shortest pulse ever generated by a laser (in optical cycles).

Jacobson first had the idea for the e-book in 1993, while working on his postdoctoral research in quantum mechanics.[1]

In 1999, MIT's Technology Review named Jacobson as one of the TR100, one of the most influential inventors under the age of 35.[2] He invented nanoparticle–based ink that can print on a flexible computer processor using an inkjet printer.[3] He received the 2000 Gutenberg prize. In 2001, he received a Discovery magazine award for technological innovation. In 2002, he received a National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Award.


  1. ^ Charles Platt (May 1997). "Digital Ink". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Innovators under 35". MIT Technology Review. 1999. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Booker, Richard; Boysen, Earl (25 July 2005). Nanotechnology for dummies. For Dummies. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7645-8368-1. Retrieved 2 September 2010.