GaN on silicon breakthrough cuts cost of LED lighting

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LED developer Bridgelux is claiming breakthrough power efficiencies for gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) devices.The company claims LED performance levels comparable to high-end sapphire-based LEDs.According to Bridgelux, warm white LEDs constructed from the GaN on Si chips delivered 125 Lm/W at a colour temperature of 2940K and CRI of 80.

Cool white LEDs showed efficiencies as high as 160 Lm/W at a CCT of 4350k. The devices use a proprietary buffer layer technology for growing GaN layers on 8-inch silicon wafers, without bowing at room temperature. This improves the manufacturability of GaN LEDs on silicon substrate.

“This key innovation is a game-changer for the industry, delivering dramatic reductions in the up-front capital investment required for solid state lighting,” said Bill Watkins, Bridgelux CEO

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Cost is still seen as a barrier to widespread use of LEDs in general home lighting. The expectation is that by growing GaN on larger silicon wafers that are compatible with modern semiconductor manufacturing can reduce the cost of high brightness LEDs for general lighting applications.

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