Who Really Invented The Blue LED?


A dispute is simmering in the materials science community over the just-announced award of Nobel Prize in physics to three Japanese scientists, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura. Two materials science Ph.D. students from Stanford claim they got there first—two decades earlier, in fact. There's even a U.S. patent filed by Stanford University to prove it. Akasaki and Amano wor... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 30


A “perfect” solar absorber According to researchers at MIT, the key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that i... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 22


Skateboarding on 2D materials Two-dimensional materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride (BN) and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). These materials are attractive candidates for futuristic field-effect transistors (FETs). But researchers must gain more insight into these materials in order to understand their properties. For ... » read more

Are LEDs Cool?


The high-brightness LED market is moving in several directions at once. On one front, LEDs are moving into automotive and solid-state lighting. Within solid-state lighting, there are different markets, such as industrial and residential. And in the supply chain, there are LED chips, equipment and fabs. And then, there is intelligent lighting, where the smartphone or tablet controls the lig... » read more

What Color Is That LED?


As I discovered while researching an upcoming article on phosphors for LED lighting, the question turns out to be surprisingly difficult to answer. Measuring the spectrum of a light source is straightforward, but determining how that spectrum will be perceived by the human eye is more challenging. Under medium and high brightness conditions, the color perceived by the brain will depend on s... » read more

Following The Yen


An examination of the installed fab capacity base in Japan shows that total capacity expansion has stalled in recent years due to the consolidation and closures of facilities. The closure and consolidation of 27 facilities between 2009 and 2012 reduced the installed fab capacity in Japan by at least 350,000 200mm equivalent wafers per month. With that said, investments continued in some industr... » read more

OLED Displacing LCD, But Not Affecting Industry Leaders


By Michael P.C. Watts One of the most common themes in high tech is how companies fail to deal with game-changing new products. Think about Kodak and digital cameras, Sony and the flash memory music player, Microsoft and the tablet, GE and Osram and the Light Emitting Diode (LED). The overwhelming conclusion seems to be that you have to be committed to making your own most valuable product red... » read more

The Week In Review: Feb. 25


By Mark LaPedus Is China set to bail out a U.S. government technology darling? Two Chinese automotive companies, Geely and Dongfeng Motor, are reported to have bid between $200 million and $350 million for a majority stake in Fisker, the maker of plug-in hybrid cars. If that happens Fisker—which has $192 million in U.S. federal government loan guarantees—could be headed to China, according... » read more

Pyramids Are Not Just For Pharaohs


By Mike Watts There were 3 different applications for pyramid patterns this year at Photonics West in San Francisco; improved LED’s, improved absorbers and single quantum dot devices. This not the first time the ancients have come to the rescue of nano-technology, a couple of years ago we had nano-menhirs. Several groups talked about improving LED’s through pyramids. A Samsung team grew... » read more

LED Firms Mull New Wafer Sizes And Materials


By Mark LaPedus Seeking to reduce the cost of solid-state lighting and related applications, LED manufacturers are taking a page from the IC industry: They are looking at larger wafer sizes and new materials in the fab. Today, the state-of-the-art LED fab is a 150mm (6-inch) facility, but a large percentage of these plants are still using 50mm (2-inch) substrates. The vast majority of LED s... » read more

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