Efficient Deep Ultra Violet Light Emitting Diodes
Develop novel materials, processing techniques and designs to produce high-efficiency LEDs that operate in the deep ultraviolet.
Sponsor: Crystal IS, Inc.70 Cohoes Avenue
Green Island, NY 12183
Crystal IS has proposed developing novel materials, processing techniques and designs to produce high-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that operate in the deep ultraviolet. The field of ultraviolet (UV) processing and analytics has opened up many applications over the past several years in areas as wide-ranging as homeland security, water and air purification and UV curing of inks and polymers. However, the light sources for many of these applications remain based on old mercury arc lamp technology. Although UV processing and analytics is gaining acceptance and some of these markets are growing well, many are not and many more cannot be addressed at all with the incumbent technology. While LEDs are now commonplace in the visible spectrum, there remain significant challenges to developing cost-effective LEDs operating in the deep UV at wavelengths less than 320 nanometers. The current efficiency of these deep-UV LEDs is about 0.5 percent, whereas efficiencies better than 20 percent will be needed to compete with existing lamp sources. Crystal IS proposes to develop both improved LED materials—low-defect non-polar aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates—and new designs and fabrication techniques to improve the extraction of deep-UV photons from the device. Efficient, cost-effective LEDs below 320 nm will not only be cheaper than existing mercury lamp sources—without the environmental hazards of mercury—but also will open up new applications and markets where UV lamps currently do not offer a solution. Crystal IS believes the market for these LEDs could reach $1 billion within 15 years.