Deep UV LEDs: thin and flexible
Describing their findings in the Applied Physics Letters paper “Nanowire LEDs grown directly on flexible metal foil”, the researchers report an electroluminescence peak emission of about 350nm at a turn-on voltage of about 5V for what looks like locally textured nanowires under a scanning electron microscope. The individual wires are about 200 nanometres tall and about 20 to 50 nanometres in diameter.
Until now, they write, deep-UV LEDs had only been fabricated on rigid single-crystal semiconductor substrates, making them much more expensive to manufacture than relying on metal foils and molecular beam epitaxy, a process that lends itself well to large areas.
The research was funded by the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation, with a particular focus on developing portable ultraviolet lights for soldiers and others to purify drinking water and sterilize medical equipment. The researchers are now experimenting with other metal foils such as steel and aluminium. The university Ohio State University is open to license its technology for industrialization.
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