Shuji Nakamura Upbeat about GaN-on-GaN LED and Laser Technology Outlook

Speaking at a forum at Lighting Japan 2016, which runs from January 13-15 this year at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan, Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura pinpointed GaN-on-GaN LED and Laser Diodes (LD) as the emerging lighting technologies of the future.

Industry insiders gather at Nobel laureate in Physics Shuji Nakamura's special talk at Lighting Japan 2016. (All photos courtesy of LEDinside)

Nakamura, who is the founder of American LED company Soraa, focused on GaN-on-GaN LED, and laser diodes during his talk at the largest international lighting show in Tokyo. He started off his presentation with a brief history of his past accomplishments as the inventor of blue LEDs, but quickly moved into the new lighting technologies he was working on.

Participants listen intently to Nakamura's presentation at the show.

The blue LED was the first generation LED to solve the p-n type issues in LEDs, said Nakamura. GaN-on-GaN LEDs are the second generation LEDs that solve this problem, and have become a mass produced product. Nakamura filed for related patents that was approved and released in 2006. Two years after acquiring the patents, he founded Soraa and the company would go on to release its first commercialized product in 2012. By 2014, the company launched GaN-on-GaN LED chip based lighting products.

Shuji Nakamura delivering his talk at Lighting Japan 2016. 

These GaN-on-GaN LEDs are basically made from flip chips that use violet light as its primary emission to achieve an optimized luminous efficacy. “The average LED wall-plug efficiency is just 50% to 60%, but GaN-on-GaN LEDs can outperform traditional LEDs to reach 84%,” said Nakamura. This makes a huge difference in the device’s energy consumption. Moreover, the aim is to create an artificial light source that matches natural sunlight, hence this series of products highlighted its ability to match natural light sources, and outperform traditional LEDs in the field of color rendering.

As for laser diodes, Nakamura noted these are third generation solid state lighting (SSL) technology that hold great future potential. Lasers luminous efficacy can reach 84%, much higher than conventional LEDs 50% to 60%. Laser light sources also come in much smaller sizes, which are preferred by manufacturers. These next generation light sources can already be found in TV backlight on the market. BMW cars equipped with LD headlights are already available in the U.S. market, and Nakamura was optimistic about the market’s future developments.

Soraa's GaN-on-GaN LEDs color render performance.

The LED industry veteran has also been spending time studying GaN-based blue lasers at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he also teaches as a Professor of Materials Department and is also holds the position of Research Director at the university's Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center.

In its eighth edition, Lighting Japan, the largest international lighting show in Japan featured two major pavilions this year including The International Exhibition for LED/OLED Technology and Application and International Lighting Fixture Expo. Next year the show organizers Reed Exhibitions intend to focus on lighting technologies and incorporate automotive lighting and semiconductor related technologies. As for its luminaire show, the organizers intend to design a new exhibition area, and kick off the luminaire exhibition in southern city Yokohama in October 2017. The exhibition company has started promoting its October show, and is seeking out interested manufacturers to attend its exhibition.

(Author: Ivan Lin, Director of Content Development Division at TrendForcehttp:// Translator and Editor: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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