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Rare-Earth Substitute Found for LEDs

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2015
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — An abundant copper compound could replace rare-earth metals in household LEDs, making them more environmentally friendly.

Most commercially available white LEDS are phosphor-based but incorporate rare earth metals like cerium. Researchers from Rutgers University developed another approach to white LEDs based on I-VII binary semiconductors, in particular copper iodide.

The hybrid phosphor materials are free of rare-earth metals and can be synthesized by a low-cost, scalable solution process, the researchers said. Introduction of ligands allows the LEDs to be tuned to emit a warm white glow or other colors.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (doi: 10.1021/ja507927a).

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