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Materion helps customers create new levels of illumination in LED lighting

The LED lighting market more than doubled in size between 2006 and 2011 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8%, according to research firm Trefis. The industry has gotten larger, but it remains highly dynamic, driven by new and evolving technologies.

That makes it a Materion kind of market. So it should come as no surprise that a number of Materion’s businesses are not only actively selling to the industry but are involved in some of the most exciting LED technologies – like “remote phosphors.”

Phosphor is the luminescent material critical to many lighting applications, including all types of LEDs. Most white LEDs are in fact blue LEDs with a phosphor coating. The phosphor converts the blue light emitted by LEDs into a warmer white light or other color. The specific color qualities depend on the chemistry of the phosphor compound. According to a research report from Yole Développement, phosphor technology represents a significant opportunity for competitive differentiation in the LED market.

Materion supplies specially formulated inorganic compounds used in the manufacture of LED phosphors.

“Customers come to us because of our chemical expertise and ability to synthesize and handle these exceptional materials in high-volume applications,” says E. J. Strother, Vice President and Strategic Business Unit Leader at Materion. “Our phosphor materials make their manufacturing better. And we excel at providing laboratory samples, with the ability to quickly scale the process to production quantities.”

Materion customer Intematix Corporation is a venture-capital-backed California maker of phosphors and phosphor components. Intematix has developed a remote phosphor device that produces more pleasing white LED light 30% more efficiently than conventional white LEDs.

Conventional LEDs have the phosphor coated directly onto the chip. The problem is that half of the light emitted when electricity is passed through the chip is reflected back toward the semiconductor light source and mostly wasted. Intematix makes a separate phosphor component that sits on top of, but does not touch, the chip so that the reflected light can be emitted around all sides of the component.

In addition to increasing light output up to 30% and reducing glare, that air gap also allows heat to dissipate, which increases the performance of both the chip and the phosphor lens. Furthermore, with this technology, manufacturers can also switch in various phosphor components on the same LED light source to create products with different color qualities in the same production line.

“We are proud to be a partner with Intematix and other leading companies bringing more efficient and effective LED lighting to the world,” says Strother.