Cambridge University has opened a new facility dedicated to researching
gallium nitride-on-silicon LEDs. The facility, which is funded by the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), was opened March 28
by David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science. It is the
latest development in the University’s decade-long research project to
make lower cost LEDs for lighting.
Researchers lead by Professor Sir Colin Humphreys in the University’s
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy after about ten years of work,
developed a method of growing low cost GaN LEDs on silicon substrates in 2012.
This technology was then picked up by UK company, Plessy.
The researchers expect that the new gallium nitride growth reactor will help
them further improve a method of growing low-cost LEDs on silicon substrates,
reducing their cost by more than 50% and opening them up for more general use.
University scientists are also starting to investigate the potential of gallium
nitride in high power electronics.
“At the moment, a 48-watt LED lightbulb, made from GaN on sapphire
LEDs, costs about