Light-emitting diodes almost ubiquitously provide the illumination in electronics and potentially will provide energy-efficient brightness in our homes. However, the LED material of choice, gallium nitride, and its method of processing and manufacture into working devices is relatively expensive. Now, US engineers have developed a novel semiconducting material based on zinc oxide that could be used in a new type of LED that is just as effective but could reduce costs for a wide range of applications.
According to Deli Wang and colleagues at the University of California San Diego, an LED requires a positive and a negative semiconducting material. While “n-type” negative-charge carrying nanowires of inexpensive zinc oxide have been easy to make, the researchers have now synthesized nanoscale cylindrical wires of the material that can transport positive charges. These so-called “p-type ZnO nanowires” complete the circuit for making a new type of inexpensive LED.
You can read the full story in the January issue of Intute Spotlight.