Improving LED Brightness and Stability
Light emitting diodes can be a wonderful source of light, thanks to their efficiency and stable design, but as good as they are, they could be better. Researchers at North Carolina State University have recently found a way to improve both the brightness and stability of gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs using phosphorus.
Starting with the GaN LEDs, the researchers applied phosphoric acid to etch the surface. Phosphonic groups, which are organic molecules containing phosphorus, were also added, and these self-assembled into a monolayer on top of the semiconductor. The etching by the acid increased the brightness of LED without requiring additional energy, while the phosphonic groups further improved efficiency and the stability of the LED.
While the improved efficiency has obvious benefits, the increased stability could have some very interesting effects as well. The increased stability means the GaN will react less with its environment, and that could potentially allow it to be used in medical implants or in solutions, without degrading.
Source: North Carolina State University