The identification of superconducting phase (La,Ba)2CuO4 in November, 1986, was attained through the collaboration between Prof. Fueki’s and Prof. Tanaka’s laboratories. Soon after a series of epoch-making experiments, he triggered so-called “High-Tc fever” by reporting at the MRS 1986 Fall Meeting, held in Boston, USA, on observed evidence of superconductivity (the Meissner effect) in the high-Tc cuprate. Since the (La,Ba)2CuO4 could be synthesized easily by the conventional solid-state reaction in air, a large number of researchers all over the world immediately started exploring new high-Tc superconductors, resulting in discoveries of numerous superconducting cuprates.
Subsequently, still at the University of Tokyo, Professor Kitazawa had been leading studies on new superconductors, superconductivity mechanisms and vortex physics in high-Tc superconductors. In addition, he promoted a new scientific field, “magneto-science” for paramagnetic materials1, using cryogen-free superconducting magnets equipped with current leads made of cuprate superconductors.
After moving to JST in 2002, he had supported many scientific projects leading to great successes, such as IPS cells by Professor Yamanaka’s2 group and the discovery of iron-based superconductors by Professor Hosono’s group. After stepping down from JST presidency, he chaired “The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” in 2011-2012. Besides his great achievements on high-Tc superconductors, and management of scientific organizations, he kept emphasized importance of giving dreams to young generations through advanced science and technologies; he found time to hold many scientific seminars for students at junior high schools and high schools. He moved to Tokyo City University as its president in October, 2013, and started new programs for students of the university, fueled by his enthusiasm for developing good human resources and having big dreams for the future world. His most regrettable sudden passing away occurred when implementation of his dreams was just beginning.