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Optoelectronics/Displays??

U.K. researchers prep LEDs for home lighting

Posted: 08 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED? solid-state light? light bulb?

University of Glasgow researchers are developing a refinement of LED manufacture based on nanoimprint lithography, which they claim could make way for the solid-state light to replace incandescent light-bulb within three years.

There are numerous initiatives to replace traditional light bulbs because of their inefficiency at light conversion, although it has to be acknowledged that not all of the heat produced by light bulbs is wasted energy. LEDs are several times more energy efficient than standard light bulbs but nonetheless much of the light becomes trapped within the crystal matrix and reabsorbed. In addition, LEDs only produce light of single wavelength and so used in more complex multidie and phosphor-based systems are not well suited to general lighting and have generally been considered unsuitable for household use.

The researchers at Glasgow University, United Kingdom, have taken the idea of making millions of microscopic holes in the semiconductor material thereby allowing more of the light to escape and producing a yet more efficient LED and found a more efficient way to implement it. The team has used nanoimprint lithography to imprint the holes directly onto the LEDs.

"As yet, LEDs have not been introduced as the standard lighting in homes because the process of making the holes is very time consuming and expensive," said Faiz Rahman, the researcher leading the project at the University of Glasgow. "However, by using world-class facilities at the University of Glasgow we believe we have found a way of imprinting the holes into billions of LEDs at a far greater speed, but at a much lower cost.

"LEDs not only use less power than current energy efficient light-bulbs but they are much smaller and can last years without needing to be replaced. This means the days of the humble light-bulb could soon be over," he added. The project is being developed in conjunction with the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde, Mesophotonics Ltd and Sharp Laboratories of Europe.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times-Europe




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