Consortium receives large grant to develop low-cost LEDs

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A consortium of Filtronic, Forge, Europa, Qinetiq, Thomas Swan and Cambridge University has won a three-year contract, worth just under £3m, within the DTI technology programme, to develop low-cost LEDs for solid-state lighting.

The DTI programme provides support for areas of innovation where there is strong market demand. It is hoped the high-brightness LEDs will provide a green replacement to standard light bulbs, with 75 per cent lower energy requirements and longer lifetimes.

However, the LEDs also prove to be much more expensive. The group hopes to reduce the cost by growing the light sources on silicon substrates. This should make mass production much easier, like most semiconductor processing for computer hardware.