The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has awarded the 2017 Mountbatten Medal for outstanding contribution to technological innovation to Nobel Prize winner Professor Shuji Nakamura for his pioneering work in developing blue LEDs and lasers.
Professor Nakamura holds the patent for novel InGaN growth processes, which enabled the commercialisation of blue LEDs as high efficiency, low power light sources, and was the frst to demonstrate group III nitride-based high brightness blue/green LEDs and violet laser diodes.
These inventions paved the way for the use of LEDs in TV and mobile phone screens and the development of the Blu-ray DVD.
Professor Nakamura said: “It is my great honour to receive the Mountbatten Medal. Since the invention of the blue LED in 1993, many researchers have joined the field and created many applications for solid state lighting, such as mobile phone screens, LED TV and large displays. But the application with the greatest impact on the world’s energy consumption is that of general illumination, recognising that one quarter of all the world’s electricity is used for lighting.
“LED Light bulbs are more than ten times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they last for 50 years! At current adoption rates, LEDs, by 2020, could have reduced the world’s need for electricity by the equivalent of nearly 60 nuclear power plants.”