There is a revolution in the lighting industry, and the catalyst is light-emitting diode technology (LED). Over the last decade, advancement in LEDs performance has been nothing less than phenomenal. The rapidly emerging LED technology already seems to outperform the traditional lighting technology, but innovators are still constantly looking forth to develop far better and cost-efficient technologies.
One reason that high-performance LEDs are relatively expensive now is that they are typically made by layering various compounds onto a sapphire substrate. Shuji Nakamura developed a method of growing thin GaN layers on sapphire substrates in the early 1990s, and till now this technology has been the basis of high-brightness blue LEDs. In view to engrave cost, OSRAM substituted method of growing GaN on silicon, a far cheaper substrate. But the process of manufacturing GaN-on-Silicon LEDs is very complicated, says Nakamura. On another hand, Nakamura believes that GaN-on-GaN technology will be a clear winner in the future as this technology would be five times brighter than chips based on other technologies and at the same time reducing the cost effectively.
Advances at Oregon State University in manufacturing technology for quantum dots also shows a new generation of LED lighting that produces a more user-friendly, soft quality white light while lowering the manufacturing cost and using less toxic materials, by taking the advantage of simple microwave heating technology. With both continuous flow chemical reactor and microwave heating technology it is now possible to develop solid-state lighting systems that consumers really like, researchers say.
Researchers and industry leading companies like Osram, Philips, and GE are making a substantial investment in developing pioneering technologies. The constant support of fundamental research is critical for future technologies that are not yet imagined or seen but probably could have a transformative impact.
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Categorized in: LED Lighting