New Materials Improve LED Performance

05/01/2014 |

More light, less energy consumption

Gallium nitride offers better LED performance than silicon, researchers have discovered. The new semiconductor material can boost light output by 50% and driver efficiency by 86%.
Photo Credit: FRAUNHOFER IAF

With the expanding growth of LEDs in the lighting market, researchers are working to improve driver efficiency with gallium nitride.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Germany found that voltage transformer components made of gallium nitride (GaN) can operate at higher currents, voltages, and temperatures than standard silicon transistors.

They can also switch at higher frequencies, about 10 times faster than silicon. This will allow the whole LED lamp to be made lighter and more compact while delivering the same or even improve illumination.

Thanks to the new semiconductor material’s useful properties, researchers have been able to boost the efficiency of the GaN driver to 86% – one to four percentage points better than its silicon equivalent.

They were also able to increase the light ouput by over 50%. Whereas a commercial LED retrofit lamps featuring silicon components is around 1,000 lumens, the models with GaN can produce 2,090 lumens.

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