The invention led to the development of better and efficient alternatives to older light sources.
Three physicists won a Nobel Prize for inventing blue light-emitting diodes that changed how the world is lighted. Japanese physicists Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and American Shuji Nakamura, have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”
Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura successfully created bright blue light beams from semiconductors in the 1990s. The invention led to the development of better and efficient alternatives to older light sources.
“They succeeded where everyone else had failed,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created.”
White LED lamps last longer and are energy-efficient. Today’s LED lamps are more improved and have higher luminous flux per unit electrical input power. The recent record, the RSAS said, is 300 lm/W – an equivalent to 16 regular light bulbs and 70 fluorescent lamps.
Because of its efficiency, the LED lamp can provide lighting to the estimated 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity. Akasaki (85), Hiroshi Amano (54), and Shuji Nakamura (60) will share the SEK 8 million ($1.1 million) prize.