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Study to enable smarter, cheaper lighting tech

11 Jun 2013

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"Just as the integration of many silicon devices in a single chip—integrated circuits—has enabled powerful compact computers and a wide range of smart device technology, the LEIC will play a pivotal role in cost-effective monolithic integration of electronics and LED technology for new smart lighting applications and more efficient LED lighting systems," Chow said.

"This new study, and the device we have created, is just the tip of the iceberg," said Smart Lighting ERC Director Robert Karlicek, a co-author of the study and ECSE professor at Rensselaer. "LEICs will result in even higher energy efficiency of LED lighting systems. But what will be even more exciting are the new devices, new applications, and new breakthroughs enabled by LEICs—they will truly usher in the era of smart lighting."

The study, titled "Monolithic integration of light-emitting diodes and power metal-oxide semiconductor channel high-electron-mobility transistors for light-emitting power integrated circuits in GaN on sapphire substrate," was published recently in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Along with Chow and Karlicek, co-authors of the paper are: Christian Wetzel, the Wellfleet Constellation Professor of Future Chips at Rensselaer and a faculty member in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy; Rensselaer graduate students Zhongda Li and John Waldron; and former Rensselaer research associate professor Theeradetch Detchprohm.

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation through the Smart Lighting ERC, with additional support from New York state though Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).

The Smart Lighting ERC is primarily funded by the NSF. Since opening in 2008, the ERC has enlisted more than 25 key industrial partners to help guide the centre's research programmes and hasten the transition from product idea to testing and commercialisation. The centre has a strong focus on the integration of LEDs and advanced control technology for the design of smart lighting systems. Along with being highly energy efficient and producing higher quality light, these smarter, feature-rich systems are poised to enable entirely new applications in areas as diverse as communications, health care, and biohazard sensing.

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