Put on the Blue Light

Veratisium tells the story of how the invention by Shuji Nakamura of the blue LED made it possible for us to move beyond merely red and green LEDs and into the full spectrum of colors we can enjoy today with LEDs in our homes and in our flashlights.

I didn’t really know how LEDs worked, and it was educational to get a simple overview of what goes into making those little diodes glow.

I loved hearing about how Nakamura’s frustrating year in the US building the MOCVD reactor would lead to giving him the skills needed to later customize his own reactor when he got back to Japan:

Back at Nichia, [Nakamura] couldn’t get gallium nitride to even grow normally in his new MOCVD reactor. After 6 months, desperate for results, he decided to take the machine apart and build a better version himself. His 10 months putting together the reactor in Florida were suddenly invaluable.

Incredible persistence, creativity, and nerding.

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