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Lighting the Future: Next Generation LED Lighting to save Energy and Improve our Health

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Graham Edgecombe.

Solid-state lighting using GaN-based LEDs could reduce the global amount of electricity used for lighting by 50%. Lighting would then use 10% of all electricity instead of the current 20%. In the UK this would save £2 billion per annum in electricity costs, and save 10% of carbon emissions from our power stations. The main factor preventing the widespread use of LED lighting in our homes and offices is cost. The reason why GaN LEDs are relatively expensive (a 40 Watt equivalent replacement LED bulb costs about £15) is that they are grown on low-diameter sapphire or SiC substrates. The Cambridge GaN group has pioneered the growth of GaN LEDs on 6-inch Si substrates, which will substantially reduce the cost. The growth is difficult because of the large difference in thermal expansion coefficients (54%) of GaN and Si, and the large lattice mismatch (17%). This talk will describe how these difficulties have been overcome. A patent has been filed and two spin-off companies set up. Plessey acquired these in 2012 and is now manufacturing GaN LEDs on 6-inch Si at its factory in Plymouth, Devon. These are the world’s first commercially available LEDs on 6-inch Si (and the first LEDs to be manufactured in the UK).

This talk will also describe how LEDs can be used to optimise cancer therapy, improve our health and productivity, and even to replace WiFi.

This talk is part of the Stokes Society, Pembroke College series.

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