Leigh Canham was trained as a solid state physicist at University College London (BSc 1979) and Kings College London (PhD 1983). His entire R&D career in academia, government labs and industry has been focussed on the semiconductor silicon. Two key personal discoveries- that nanoscale silicon can emit light efficiently (1990) and be medically biodegradable (1995) have had significant academic and commercial impact.
Since 1999 he has held an Honorary Professorship at the University of Birmingham for his work on luminescent silicon. In 2011 Leigh was a shortlisted finalist for the European Inventor of the Year award from the European Patent Office for his work on biodegradable silicon. Two recent awards are that of Thomson Reuter Citation Laureate (2012) and the Materials Innovation Medial of the Federation of European materials Societies (2015).
Leigh regularly gives lectures internationally on nanoscience and technology, entrepreneurship and nanoscale silicon R&D.