White- and blue-LED inventor Nakamura wins inventor award

Sept. 28, 2012
The Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association named Shuji Nakamura the winner of its Inventor of the Year award for innovations including Soraa's GaN-on-GaN technology.

The Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA) annually bestows its Inventor of the Year award to an individual that has made "exceptional contribution" in terms of technology development. This year, the SVIPLA recognizes Shuji Nakamura, the co-founder of Soraa and also the original inventor of blue and white LEDs.

Nakamura's recent work at Soraa is in the development of gallium-nitride (GaN) LEDs that are fabricated on a GaN substrate. Most LED manufacturers grow GaN epitaxial layers on a sapphire or silicon-carbide substrate. Soraa says that the homogenous GaN-on-GaN approach provides a better alignment of crystalline structures that results in LEDs that can handle higher current densities and produce more light out.

Nakamura has a long history of intellectual property development. Soraa says that he has been responsible for more than 700 patent applications and received at least 360 authorized patents.

"I am proud to be recognized by the property law association and I thank them for this," said Nakamura. "My focus is to create efficient lighting products that do not compromise on performance, offer the highest quality available and greatly reduce energy waste."

Nakamura's work at Soraa is due to come to fruition shortly. The company recently announced that Japanese lighting manufacturer Ushio would begin selling MR16 retrofit lamps based on Soraa's LEDs in November.

"Shuji’s pioneering work has enabled Soraa to produce the most advanced LED lamps on the market,” said Eric Kim, CEO of Soraa. “As we continue to innovate, we are pleased to see our co-founder honored for the work that started it all. For those who have followed his contributions to the industry and to LED technology, this award has special meaning."

The Soraa technology pioneered by Nakamura has progressed rapidly. The startup company just came out of stealth mode in February at Strategies in Light when Kim presented a keynote on GaN-on-GaN technology.