World First successful development and mass production of high-efficiency UV LEDs.Prospected as next generation lighting material replaces blue LEDs. They have three primary products: crystal wafers that can emit UV LED, the bare chips produced from the wafers, and the lamps which are bare chips packaged and coated in resin. They are also manufacturing and selling the customized irradiators, lights, and other critical components that are used to make their own products. Also used as the light source for a wide range of applications, including paper money identifiers and other sensors, curing resins, lithography, air purification using photo catalysis, and medical or biological scans.
- World First successful development and mass production of high-efficiency UV LEDs
- • The award for excellence in the Semiconductor of the Year (2009)
• The 23rd Annual Small & Medium Enterprise Award of Excellent -
New Technology and New Products (2011)
- • The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award in the 4th annual Monozukuri Nippon Grand Awards (2012)
- From sensors to white light illumination, a highly versatile UV LED
- Dreamlike high efficiency achieved: replaces traditional UV (mercury) lamps,
low energy, long life, all while being much smaller in size
- Real white light, similar to sunlight, now implemented. Next-gen lighting material replaces blue LEDs.
- Aiming for a UV LED illumination light source with 100% luminous efficiency
irradiator (top), irradiator(emitting state) (below)
Nitride Semiconductors is a university-industry partnership company founded to commercialize the gallium nitride developed by Dr. Shiro Sakai (The University of Tokushima Faculty of Engineering), who taught Dr. Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of the blue LED. They are known as the creators of the world's first UV LED, and spearheaded the mass production of this new technology. In January 2001, the company unveiled a 0.1 mW UV LED which output light at a wavelength of 350 nm. After that, they developed three new UV LEDs, with frequencies of 375, 370, 365 nm. Today, crystal wafers to mass produce five varieties of UV LED - with wavelengths of 355, 360, 365, 370, 375 nm – now available on the market. Their high technical strength has been praised by specialists in the field, which has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions in the industry. Including:
Nitride Semiconductors has three primary products: crystal wafers that can emit UV LED, the bare chips produced from the wafers, and the lamps which are bare chips packaged and coated in resin. They are also manufacturing and selling the customized irradiators, lights, and other critical components that are used to make their own products.
UV LEDs have a frequency that is about 100 nm shorter than blue LEDs, and can replace traditional ultraviolet lamps. For this reason, UV LEDs can be used as the light source for a wide range of applications, including paper money identifiers and other sensors, curing resins, lithography, air purification using photocatalysis, and medical or biological scans.
In addition, while the ultraviolet light produced by a UV LED is itself invisible to the human eye, it can produce light similar to sunlight using the three primary colors (red, green, and blue) when combined with RGB fluorescent materials. As a result, it is expected to be used in many of the next generation lighting systems in the world.
In recent years, ultraviolet lamps in UV irradiators used to cure paints, inks, and even circuit boards, are being replaced by UV LEDs in developed countries. Compared to ultraviolet lamps, UV LEDs have a higher energy efficiency, consuming at least 70% less energy. In addition, they last more than 20 times longer, which reduces waste. Finally, UV LEDs generate less heat, and do not contain the highly toxic compound mercury, and as such, have the advantage of having a much smaller environmental footprint.
One of their main goals as a company is deploying a UV LED for use as white light illumination. They have already developed one such UV LED, and if costs decrease enough they can start selling in high volume on the open market.
Current white LED lamps combine a blue LED with a yellow fluorescent substance, and emit a pseudo-white light. However, since the light emitted by blue LEDs is actually blue, its color rendering property is low. While they have the advantage of having a higher luminous efficiency and using less energy than existing fluorescent tubes, it has lower color reproduction when used as a backlight in LCDs.
However, combining UV LEDs with RGB fluorescent materials, it is possible to get light very similar to sunlight, and a color reproduction of more than 100%. The UV-RGB white LED that they developed uses controllable fluorescent materials in one of the three primary colors (red, green, and blue), along with the UV LED, to create a white LED. They have achieved a color rendering property with a high Ra (Average Color Rendering Index) of over 95, and the irradiated subject sees a more natural hue. Their CEO, Yoshihiko Muramoto has said that, "looking at UV LEDs, with their high energy efficiency and their index above 95, it is hard to imagine any illumination device that could be perform better."
6SMG, emitting state(below)With the exception of a South Korean company whom they have issued a license to use Nitride Semiconductors’ patents, there are only two companies in the world that are manufacturing UV LEDs. Their UV LEDs have the highest share as light sources for ATM paper money identifiers. Their global market share for UV LED lamps is currently holding in second place. However, with their new high power UV LED 6SVG and 6SMG, which they started selling in November 2013, it seems possible that they could attain the lead in market share. The high power UV LED 6SVG, 6SMG is a high-output aluminium-packaged UV LED using a 1.05mm square chip. In addition, in February 2014, they achieved the world's highest-powered UV LEDs, with wavelengths of 365 nm at 12 W (14 A), and 385 nm at 17 W (14 A).
Nitride Semiconductors is always aiming for a higher luminous efficiency and they fervently continue their research. For example, the aforementioned high power UV LED is already at more than 50% efficiency; within a few years, they are aiming to manufacture UV LEDs that boast an efficiency of 70 or 80%.
Their ultimate objective is a luminous efficiency of 100%, which is physically impossible. However, there is no other company in the entire world that is aiming for this 100%. With the same rebellious spirit that created the ultraviolet LED, which was itself said to be impossible, this company challenge themselves to bring the luminous efficiency of their UV LED illumination to as close to 100% as possible.
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