PhotonStar, U. of Cambridge win funding to produce high power GaN LEDs

Dec. 4, 2008
Date Announced: 04 Dec 2008 PhotonStar LED, the UK-based performance eco-lighting designer, and the University of Cambridge have won funding from the government’s Technology Strategy Board. Together they will undertake a collaborative programme of work entitled LED Lighting for the 21st Century (LL21C). The ambitious project aims to produce high power gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs capable of 95 percent light extraction with an electrical isolation layer designed to dramatically simplify packaging, boost performance and reduce costs for general lighting applications. The research and development programme will run for 24 months. The total project size is about £1m. Commenting on the Technology Strategy Board's decision to invest in the project, its Chief Executive, Iain Gray, noted that: “Advanced light and laser sources are an area where the UK has an excellent reputation for world-class research activity, a healthy industrial base and the capability to exploit the results globally. Innovative research and development, such as the LED lighting for the 21st Century project, will enable the UK to develop world-leading technologies that have global market potential."PhotonStars’s Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Dr Majd Zoorob says of the win “It’s a great win for us and endorses all the work we have been doing in this area. The funding combined with being able to work with such a prestigious team at Cambridge University will enable us to push the boundaries in this all-important area of lighting. I believe we will be able to advance the energy and environmental benefits of LEDs even further.”The University of Cambridge’s Professor Colin Humphreys adds ‘We are delighted to apply our GaN growth skills to such an important environmental application for LED technology. LEDs have great potential to dramatically reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions and reduce waste associated with disposal of conventional and low energy light bulbs."The government's Technology Strategy Board is investing over £7 million in 12 innovative lighting technology research and development projects, while the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is contributing nearly £1 million to five of the projects. About PhotonStar LED LtdThe company, headquartered in Southampton UK, was founded in 2007 by Dr James McKenzie and Dr Majd Zoorob with the aim of producing world class LED lighting products for general illumination. PhotonStar made its product debut at ARC ’08 launching the first of its Performance Ecolighting products, the CeilingStar5-IC, a downlighter for use in fully insulated ceilings. The CeilingStar5 produces 450 Lumens at thermal equilibrium from 8W of circuit power in either warm white or neutral white and provides equivalent illumination to a 60W incandescent downlighter or a 35W MR16 downlighter. PhotonStar LED Ltd has in February acquired an optical and electrical characterization laboratory able to handle LED technology from the LED die, through LED modules to the luminaire. Further info on About the University of Cambridge The Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride. The Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, was founded in 2000 by Professor Colin Humphreys. It is one of the leading GaN groups in the world. A key focus of its research is GaN LED lighting. If such lighting was used in our homes and offices, the energy saved would enable the UK to close eight power stations (or not build eight new ones). We would reduce carbon emissions from power stations by 10-15 %, and save 10-15 % of fuel. The University of Cambridge is one of the world's leading universities and is 800 years old next year.About the Technology Strategy BoardThe Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). For further information please visit

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