Jan 2, 2018: Gallium nitride is the material to watch out in 2018 and beyond, and products based on it will be in great demand for Internet of Things (IoT), 5G communications and Internet of Energy (IoE), including wireless powering of devices over several metres, says Nobel laureate Hiroshi Amano, who was in India for a lecture at the University of Hyderabad.
The Japanese physicist addressed the students, staff and audience at the University of Hyderabad (UoH), during a lecture on ‘Blue LEDs and Transformative Electronics for Developing Sustainable Smart Society’. It was held as part of the Hyderabad Lecture Series, sponsored by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
Gallium nitride-based ultraviolet technology is already being for water purification, Amano adds. Amano and his colleagues, Isamu Akasaki and Shuji Nakamura, shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014 for their pathbreaking work on fabricating gallium nitride LED, which led to a number of application of LEDs. Their work broke new ground in creating blue LEDs. Their invention paved the way for the development of bright and energy-saving white light sources.
However, according to Amano, there are some challenges in developing technologies that are more cost-effective. The white LED, which uses the gallium nitride technology, has revolutionised display and energy efficiencies. In future it canhelp in developing smart and sustainable technologies.
The invention of the efficient blue LED is just 20 years old, but it has already contributed to the creation of white light, he said. White LED lamps are constantly improving and getting more efficient. Materials consumption has also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights.
In 1985 Amano developed low-temperature deposited buffer layers for the growth of group III nitride semiconductor films on a sapphire substrate, which led to the realisation of group-III-nitride semiconductor-based LEDs and laser diodes. In 1989 he succeeded in growing p-type GaN and fabricating a p-n-junction-type GaN-based UV/blue light-emitting diode for the first time in the world.