CNET is reporting about a new design for light emitting diodes (LEDs), developed at the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland, which are considerably smaller and more efficient, hence running at lower temperatures than current diodes. Because of these properties, the institute envisions its technology to be initially most useful for medical technology applications.
Tyndall will initially likely try to market the device as an alternative to lasers, particularly in medical equipment. Lasers are far from perfect. They wear out, they create safety problems for people handling them, and they can also produce heat, a problem when you are trying to harvest or examine fluid or tissue samples from a patient. By contrast, these micro LEDs could be placed at the tip of fiber-optic probes or used inside chips designed for examining blood samples without changing the state of the materials it is studying.
Details about µLEDs, taken from the technology page at Tyndall:
The microLED (µLEDs) has been developed as a next generation source for miniature lighting applications. Based on free standing GaN the microLED has a number of excited new features. At present the Photonics Sources Group is optimising the device structure to best suit the needs of industry. We are eager to produce customer-specific prototypes, under an EI funded project.
• 10 fold reduction in the active light emitting layer.
• Minimal power consumption
• Optimum extraction efficiency (up to 8 time more efficient that conventional LEDs).
• Collimated beam
• Formation of addressable arrays.
• Lowest power optical indicator.
• Colour range: UV – blue – green – yellow – orange.
• Excellent coupling efficiency both glass and plastic optical fibres.
Initial applications have been identified in the areas of:
• fibre coupling,
• handheld devices,
• mounted displays (HUD / HMDs)
• Low power visible indicators.
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Technology page: MicroLEDs…