A bright idea for Cranfield scientists

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 31 July 2007



(2007), "A bright idea for Cranfield scientists", Microelectronics International, Vol. 24 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/mi.2007.21824cab.006



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

A bright idea for Cranfield scientists

A bright idea for Cranfield scientists

There is light at the end of the tunnel for light emitting diode (LED) technology. Cranfield scientists have invented a potentially brighter and more efficient LED device. The new technology – which has huge potential for improving the efficiency of many applications from huge advertising displays to mobile phones, PC monitors and televisions – has now been granted a patent.

With 19 per cent of the world's energy being used on lighting and light products, developing environmentally- friendly lighting solutions is critical. The new technology, though still in its infancy, could make a significant contribution to the important area of high-efficiency light generation, and, in time, could help reduce the enormous worldwide power consumption of lighting.

The new device – called a nano-LED – uses particles of a semiconductor material that are about 3.5nm in size – about 1/15,000 of the thickness of human hair. Academics from Cranfield's Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre initially developed the technology for use in smart dashboards for cars but quickly realised its advantages for future manufacturers. These include the – previously impossible – ability to produce multi-coloured devices using only one process; the ability to produce the device in an ambient environment without a need for complicated clean rooms or dry atmospheres; and being able to produce pixels that range in size from a few tenths of a millimetre to many centimetres.

It may also be possible to use such a device to produce pure white light, something that is proving particularly difficult with the technologies currently on offer.

Dr Steve Dunn of the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre said: “The patent represents the culmination of a lot of hard work, and we are now actively seeking partners to work with us to further refine the technology and maximize its potential”.

For further information please contact Dr Steve Dunn, E-mail: s.dunn@cranfield.ac.uk

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