#Veritasium published an AWESOME video about the very unlikely invention of the blue LED. It’s an *incredible* story and you really should view it. It also contains the best visualization of semiconductors I’ve ever seen.
I witnessed the drama of the blue LED live in the 1990s. I watched tech magazines show dim blue prototypes for years until Nichia suddenly burst on the scenes with a bright blue LED and it changed the world. I watched as they created their first white LEDs ($1 apiece) which I gawked at in person. I was at Honeywell when they finally made white LEDs in surface-mount format (still $1 apiece). We used 50 of them as the backlight in the aviation GPS navigator I worked on (at $50 the backlight was one of the most expensive components in the whole system). They were so hot (100 mW each for a total of 5 W) we used them as *heaters* when the unit was below operating temperatures.
When I read about how Nakamura got screwed by Nichia, I was livid.
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