Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2013-03-06 15:40:00
  • Article ID: 600023

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

  • Credit: Rensselaer

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Ming Ma has developed a new method to manufacture light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are brighter, more energy efficient, and have superior technical properties than those on the market today. His patent-pending invention holds the promise of hastening the global adoption of LEDs and reducing the overall cost and environmental impact of illuminating our homes and businesses. For this innovation, Ma, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named the winner of the prestigious 2013 $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize.

Michael Mullaney

518-276-6161

mullam@rpi.edu

News from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

March 5, 2013

www.rpi.edu/news

$30,000 Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prizes Awarded to Inventive Students at Three Leading Universities

Troy, N.Y.—Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Ming Ma has developed a new method to manufacture light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are brighter, more energy efficient, and have superior technical properties than those on the market today. His patent-pending invention holds the promise of hastening the global adoption of LEDs and reducing the overall cost and environmental impact of illuminating our homes and businesses.

For this innovation, Ma, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named the winner of the prestigious 2013 $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize. He is among the three 2013 $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize winners announced today.

“For more than 175 years, Rensselaer has produced some of the world’s most successful engineers and scientists, explorers and scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs. Doctoral student Ming Ma, with his groundbreaking invention of GRIN LEDs, honors and continues this tradition of excellence,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “Rensselaer and the School of Engineering offer a hearty congratulations to Ming for his achievement. We also applaud all of the winners, finalists, and entrants of the Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize for using their talent and passion to engineer a better world and a better tomorrow.”

Ma is the seventh recipient of the Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize. First given in 2007, the prize is awarded annually to a Rensselaer senior or graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system, or demonstrated remarkable inventiveness in other ways.

“Invention is critical to the U.S. economy. It is imperative we instill a passion for invention in today’s youth, while rewarding those who are inspiring role models,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “This year’s Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize winners and finalists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prove that inventions and inventive ideas have the power to impact countless individuals and entire industries for the better.”

For videos and photos of Ma and other award finalists, please visit: www.eng.rpi.edu/lemelson

Seeking Brighter, Smarter LEDs

Conventional incandescent and fluorescent light sources are increasingly being replaced by more energy-efficient, longer-lived, and environmentally friendlier LEDs, but LEDs still suffer from challenges related to brightness, efficiency, and performance With his project, “Graded-refractive-index (GRIN) Structures for Brighter and Smarter Light-Emitting Diodes,” Ma faced these problems head-on and tackled a fundamental, well-known technical shortcoming of LED materials.

LEDs are hampered by low light-extraction efficiency—or the percentage of produced light that actually escapes from the LED chip. Currently, most unprocessed LEDs have a light-extraction efficiency of only 25 percent, which means 75 percent of light produced gets trapped within the device itself.

One solution that has emerged is to roughen the surface of LEDs, in order to create nanoscale gaps and valleys that enable more light to escape. While surface roughening leads to brighter and more efficient light emission, the roughening process creates random features on the LED’s surface that do not allow for a complete control over other critical device properties such as surface structure and refractive index.

Freeing Trapped Light with GRIN LEDs

Ma’s solution to this problem was to create an LED with well-structured features on the surface to minimize the amount of light that gets reflected back into the device, and thus boost the amount of light emitted. He invented a process for creating LEDs with many tiny star-shaped pillars on the surface. Each pillar is made up of five nanolayers specifically engineered to help “carry” the light out of the LED material and into the surrounding air.

Ma’s patent-pending technology, called GRIN (graded-refractive-index) LEDs, has demonstrated a light-extraction efficiency of 70 percent, meaning 70 percent of light escaped and only 30 percent was left trapped inside the device—a huge improvement over the 25 percent light-extraction efficiency of most of today’s unprocessed LEDs. In addition, GRIN LEDs also have controllable emission patterns, and enable a more uniform illumination than today’s LEDs.

Overall, Ma’s innovation could lead to entirely new methods for manufacturing LEDs with increased light output, greater efficiency, and more controllable properties than both surface-roughened LEDs and the LEDs currently available in the marketplace.

Impactful Researcher

Ma joined Rensselaer in 2008 as a member of Professor E. Fred Schubert’s research team. In his time at Rensselaer, Ma has been the first author on five research papers, published in Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, and Optics Express, and co-author of several studies in other journals. He is also a reviewer for Optics Letters and Optics Express.

“Ming Ma is an outstanding student—strongly motivated, creative, intelligent, and highly skilled,” said Schubert, the Wellfleet Senior Professor in the Future Chips Constellation at Rensselaer and a faculty member of the university’s Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy. “Ming’s technical accomplishments are innovative, and have had a significant impact on the LED materials research community. The innovation of GRIN LEDs should not be underestimated—Ma’s invention is the first viable approach for high-efficiency LEDs with a controllable far-field emission pattern. This is an important development for LED lighting, and it is already capturing the attention of industry.”

Growing up in Jiangxi Province in southeast China, Ma fostered an early love of science. This fascination was fostered by his father, a newspaper editor, and his mother, a mechanical engineer at a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Ma became interested in advanced materials as an undergraduate student at Fudan University in Shanghai, which inspired him to study LEDs as a graduate student at Rensselaer.

Upon completing his doctoral degree from Rensselaer later this year, Ma plans to continue researching materials and LEDs in academia or industry.

Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prizes

Winners of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize were also announced today at their respective universities:

• Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Winner Nikolai Begg has developed medical devices to make “puncture access” medical procedures, such as laparoscopic surgeries and epidurals, less risky. Many minimally invasive procedures use puncture access devices that plunge forward after breaking through tissue. Begg’s “force sensing” mechanism has a blade that retracts the moment it passes through tissue, significantly lowering the risk of damage to underlying organs when creating a pathway into the patient’s body.

• Lemelson-Illinois Student Prize Winner Eduardo Torrealba has created Plant Link, which monitors the moisture needs of specific plants and can deliver water on an as needed basis using smart valves. The evolution of this wireless product will make agricultural water resource management easier and more affordable than ever on a global scale. Ranging from home lawns and gardens to farms in emerging economies, this technology has a huge potential to impact the sustainability and costs of water usage.

About the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize

The $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize is funded through a partnership with the Lemelson-MIT Program, which has awarded the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize to outstanding student inventors at MIT since 1995.

About The Lemelson-MIT Program

Celebrating innovation, inspiring youth

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth in the United States and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. http://web.mit.edu/invent/

Read about past winners of the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize:

• Student Innovator Uses Graphene Foam To Detect Subtle Traces of Hazardous Gases and Explosives

Fazel Yavari’s graphene innovation is a new sensor to detect extremely small quantities of hazardous gases

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=3005

• Student Innovator Uses Sound Waves, T-Rays for Safer Detection of Bombs and Other Dangerous Materials

Benjamin Clough’s invention increases distance between first responders and potential threats

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2840

• Helping Hydrogen: Student Inventor Tackles Challenge of Hydrogen Storage

Javad Rafiee’s graphene innovation could lead to more efficient hydrogen-powered vehicles

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2690

• Student Developer of Versatile “G-gels” Wins $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Prize

Yuehua “Tony” Yu’s innovation could lead to new medical devices, drug-delivery technologies

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2538

• Student Develops New LED, Wins $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Prize

Martin Schubert’s polarized LED could improve LCD displays, save energy

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2406

• Handheld “T-Ray” Device Earns New $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize

Brian Schulkin’s “Mini-Z” spots cracks in space shuttle foam, detects tumors in tissue

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1944

Contact

Michael Mullaney

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY

518-276-6161

mullam@rpi.edu

Visit the Rensselaer research and discovery blog: http://approach.rpi.edu

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RPInews

X
X
X
  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Rutgers Scientists Discover 'Legos of Life'

Rutgers scientists have found the "Legos of life" - four core chemical structures that can be stacked together to build the myriad proteins inside every organism - after smashing and dissecting nearly 10,000 proteins to understand their component parts. The four building blocks make energy available for humans and all other living organisms, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Small Hydroelectric Dams Increase Globally with Little Research, Regulations

University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world -- including their potential for growth -- and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorized, regulated and studied.

Researchers Reveal How Microbes Cope in Phosphorus-Deficient Tropical Soil

A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Scientists Discover Material Ideal for Smart Photovoltaic Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties.

Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-Ton Estimate

Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? The answer is yes.

On the Rebound

New research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University has found that palladium nanoparticles can repair atomic dislocations in their crystal structure, potentially leading to other advances in material science.

Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

A Shortcut to Modeling Sickle Cell Disease

Using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer, a team led by Brown University's George Karniadakis devised a multiscale model of sickle cell disease that captures what happens inside a red blood cell affected by the disease.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Theoretical Physicist Elena Belova Named to Editorial Board of Physics of Plasmas

Theoretical physicist Elena Belova named to editorial board of Physics of Plasmas

Superconducting X-Ray Laser Takes Shape in Silicon Valley

An area known for high-tech gadgets and innovation will soon be home to an advanced superconducting X-ray laser that stretches 3 miles in length, built by a collaboration of national laboratories. On January 19, the first section of the machine's new accelerator arrived by truck at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park after a cross-country journey that began in Batavia, Illinois, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Kelsey Stoerzinger Earns Young Investigator Lectureship

Kelsey Stoerzinger, Pauling Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is one of the 2018 Caltech Young Investigator Lecturers in Engineering and Applied Physics.

North Dakota State University Joins Two National Distributed Computing Groups

The NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) joins OSG (Open Science Grid) and XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

DOE Announces Funding for New HPC4Manufacturing Industry Projects

The Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) today announced the funding of $1.87 million for seven new industry projects under an ongoing initiative designed to utilize DOE's high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance U.S. manufacturing and clean energy technologies.

DOE Announces First Awardees for New HPC4Materials for Severe Environments Program

The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) today announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships under a brand-new initiative aimed at discovering, designing and scaling up production of novel materials for severe environments.

Two Argonne Scientists Recognized for a Decade of Breakthroughs

Two scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been named to the Web of Science's Highly Cited List of 2017, ranking in the top 1 percent of their peers by citations and subject area. Materials Scientist Khalil Amine and Energy and Environmental Policy Scientist David Streets say they are thrilled to see their work -- and the laboratory -- recognized in such a way.

Argonne Welcomes Department of Energy Secretary Perry

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Argonne National Laboratory yesterday, getting a first-hand view of the multifaceted and interdisciplinary research program laboratory of the Department.

Argonne names John Quintana Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and COO

John Quintana has been named Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Developing Next-Generation Sensing Technologies

Recently, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $20 million in funding for 15 projects that will develop a new class of sensor systems to enable significant energy savings via reduced demand for heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally

New open-source software simulates river and runoff resources.

Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models

New measurements offer data vital to projecting plant response to environmental changes.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall

Plasma physicists significantly improve the vertical stability of a Korean fusion device.

Graphene Flexes Its Muscle

Crumpling reduces rigidity in an otherwise stiff material, making it less prone to catastrophic failure.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.

What's the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?

The magnetic noise caused by adsorbed oxygen molecules is "eating at" the phase stability of quantum bits, mitigating the noise is vital for future quantum computers.

Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry

An electric field switches the conductivity on and off in atomic-scale channels, which could allow for upgrades at will.

Filtering Water Better than Nature

Water passes through human-made straws faster than the "gold standard" protein, allowing us to filter seawater.

Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World

Machine learning and neural networks are the foundation of artificial intelligence and image recognition, but now they offer a bridge to see and recognize exotic insulating phases in quantum materials.


Spotlight

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Photographer Adam Nadel Selected as Fermilab's New Artist-in-Residence for 2018

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Fermilab Computing Partners with Argonne, Local Schools for Hour of Code

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday December 20, 2017, 01:05 PM

Q&A: Sam Webb Teaches X-Ray Science from a Remote Classroom

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Monday December 18, 2017, 01:05 PM

The Future of Today's Electric Power Systems

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday December 18, 2017, 12:05 PM

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Tuesday October 03, 2017, 01:05 PM

Stairway to Science

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

After-School Energy Rush

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

Bringing Diversity Into Computational Science Through Student Outreach

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Thursday September 21, 2017, 03:05 PM

From Science to Finance: SLAC Summer Interns Forge New Paths in STEM

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday September 07, 2017, 02:05 PM

Students Discuss 'Cosmic Opportunities' at 45th Annual SLAC Summer Institute

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday August 31, 2017, 05:05 PM

Binghamton University Opens $70 Million Smart Energy Building

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Wednesday August 23, 2017, 05:05 PM

Widening Horizons for High Schoolers with Code

Argonne National Laboratory

Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday May 15, 2017, 01:05 PM

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jonathan Kirzner

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wednesday April 05, 2017, 12:05 PM

High-Schooler Solves College-Level Security Puzzle From Argonne, Sparks Interest in Career

Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jenica Jacobi

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Friday March 24, 2017, 10:40 AM

Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 04:05 PM

Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tuesday November 08, 2016, 12:05 PM

Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday May 13, 2016, 04:05 PM

More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Monday April 25, 2016, 05:05 PM

Giving Back to National Science Bowl

Ames Laboratory

Friday March 25, 2016, 12:05 PM

NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tuesday February 02, 2016, 10:05 AM

Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Monday November 16, 2015, 04:05 PM

Rare Earths for Life: An 85th Birthday Visit with Mr. Rare Earth

Ames Laboratory

Tuesday October 20, 2015, 01:05 PM

Meet Robert Palomino: 'Give Everything a Shot!'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 AM

University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

University of Utah

Wednesday March 06, 2013, 03:40 PM

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday November 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Texas Tech University

Wednesday November 23, 2011, 10:45 AM

Don't Get 'Frosted' Over Heating Your Home This Winter

Temple University

Wednesday July 06, 2011, 06:00 PM

New Research Center To Tackle Critical Challenges Related to Aircraft Design, Wind Energy, Smart Buildings

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday April 22, 2011, 09:00 AM

First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money

Wake Forest University

Friday April 15, 2011, 12:25 PM

Like Superman, American University Will Get Its Energy from the Sun

American University

Thursday February 10, 2011, 05:00 PM

ARRA Grant to Help Fund Seminary Building Green Roof

University of Chicago

Tuesday December 07, 2010, 05:00 PM

UC San Diego Installing 2.8 Megawatt Fuel Cell to Anchor Energy Innovation Park

University of California San Diego

Monday November 01, 2010, 12:50 PM

Rensselaer Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Announces First Deployment of New Technology on Campus

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday September 10, 2010, 12:40 PM

Ithaca College Will Host Regional Clean Energy Summit

Ithaca College

Tuesday July 27, 2010, 10:30 AM

Texas Governor Announces $8.4 Million Award to Create Renewable Energy Institute

Texas Tech University

Friday May 07, 2010, 04:20 PM

Creighton University to Offer New Alternative Energy Program

Creighton University

Wednesday May 05, 2010, 09:30 AM

National Engineering Program Seeks Subject Matter Experts in Energy

JETS Junior Engineering Technical Society

Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:30 PM

Students Using Solar Power To Create Sustainable Solutions for Haiti, Peru

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Wednesday March 03, 2010, 07:00 PM

Helping Hydrogen: Student Inventor Tackles Challenge of Hydrogen Storage

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Thursday February 04, 2010, 02:00 PM

Turning Exercise into Electricity

Furman University

Thursday November 12, 2009, 12:45 PM

Campus Leaders Showing the Way to a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

Tuesday November 03, 2009, 04:20 PM

Furman University Receives $2.5 Million DOE Grant for Geothermal Project

Furman University

Thursday September 17, 2009, 02:45 PM

Could Sorghum Become a Significant Alternative Fuel Source?

Salisbury University

Wednesday September 16, 2009, 11:15 AM

Students Navigating the Hudson River With Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)





Showing results

0-4 Of 2215