Building on its work in rapid materials discovery, Intematix Corp. of Moraga, Calif., recently developed new phosphors for white LEDs and other lighting applications. Currently, YAG is the dominant phosphor technology for use in white LEDs. With Nichia Corp. of Tokyo holding the patent, however, it is used legally only in LEDs made by that manufacturer.Therefore, other manufacturers are taking an interest in Intematix’s alternative phosphors. The company recently licensed its white LED technology to Advanced Optoelectronic Technology Inc. of Hsin-chu, Taiwan, and to LumiMicro Co. Ltd. of Suwon, South Korea. It has several other agreements pending, according to Nik Bahram, vice president of marketing and sales.The technique uses a blue InGaN LED and a yellow phosphor, which Intematix can customize for specific chips. Although YAG phosphors work best at 460 nm, the new phosphors can be tuned to work even better at 450 nm. The White Lightning Y450 and Y460 are members of a family of patented phosphor materials, including those for green and ultraviolet LEDs.Bahram said the performance of white LEDs that employ Intematix phosphors is equivalent to that of YAG-based emitters. By offering an alternative to YAG, the company is opening the door to manufacturers, which Bahram thinks may help move LEDs closer to being a viable replacement for general illumination and lighting, both in terms of pricing and of brightness and color rendering.