Blue LED and laser inventor receives IET Achievement Award

20 November 2017

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Professor Shuji Nakamura has received one of the IET's most significant awards, the Mountbatten Medal, for his pioneering work to develop blue LEDs and lasers.

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Achievement Awards exist to recognise individuals from all over the world who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology and science in any sector. This can be through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.

Professor Nakamura used novel InGaN (indium gallium nitride) growth processes to enable the commercialisation of blue LEDs as high efficiency, low power light sources, to which he holds the patent. He was also the first to demonstrate group III nitride-based high brightness blue/green LEDs and violet laser diodes. His LED inventions have been used for multiple applications, including TV and mobile phone screens, due to their lower energy consumption, and even enabled the development of the Blu-ray DVD.

Nick Winser, IET President, said: “Professor Nakamura’s inventions have resulted in highly successful commercial LEDs, that not only save considerable energy consumption, but have revolutionised new technology such as the Blu-ray disk. It is our pleasure to recognise him as our Mountbatten Medal winner for his outstanding contribution to technological innovation.”

Professor Nakamura, said: “It is my great honour to receive the Mountbatten Medal. Since the invention of the blue LED in 1993, many researchers joined the field and created many applications for solid state lighting, such as mobile phone screens, LED TV, and large displays. But the application with the greatest impact to the world’s energy consumption is that of general illumination, recognising that one quarter of all the world’s electricity is used for lighting.

Professor Nakamura at The IET Achievement Awards

“LED Light bulbs are more than ten times [more] efficient than incandescent bulb, and they last for 50 years! At their current adoption rates, by 2020 LEDs can reduce the world’s need for electricity by the equivalent of nearly 60 nuclear power plants. I hope that the invention of blue LED could contribute to overcome the global warming issues.”

Professor Nakamura joins 14 other winners, who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.

For more information, visit this link from The IET.

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