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Title:Why It Was Almost Impossible to Make the Blue LED

The blue LED was supposed to be impossible—until a young engineer proposed a moonshot idea. Head to to start your free 30-day trial, and the first 200 people get 20% off an annual premium subscription. Special thanks to our Patreon supporters! Join this list to help us keep our videos free, forever: Huge thanks to the UC Santa Barbara Materials Dept ( for taking us around. Thanks to Álvaro Bermejillo Seco for reviewing the science. Thanks to these especially helpful sources: Nobel Prize Biography - Shuji Nakamura - Johnstone, B. (2015). Brilliant!. Prometheus Books. - Nakamura, S., Pearton, S., & Fasol, G. (2010). The Blue Laser Diode: The Complete Story. Springer. - ▀▀▀ References: Touchstone, L. A. (2022). Nick Holonyak Jr. University of Illinois. - Perry, T. S. (1995). The Unsung Inventor. IEEE Spectrum. - Chabay, R. & Sherwood, B. (2011). Matter & interactions (4th ed.), S2: Semiconductors. Wiley. - How MOCVD Works via Aixtron - Vangala, S. R., et al. (2019). Epitaxial growth of ZnSe on GaAs. Journal of Crystal Growth. - Nakamura, S. (1991). GaN Growth Using GaN Buffer Layer. JJAP. - Amano, H., et al. (1989). P-Type Conduction in Mg-Doped GaN w/ LEEBI. JJAP. - Huang, M., et al. (2021). Defects in Mg–H‐Codoped GaN. Physica Status Solidi. - Schubert, E. F. (2006). Light Emitting Diodes, Ch 4: LED basics. Cambridge University Press. - Kitada, C. (2001). Blue About Japan. Japan Inc. - Whitaker, T. (2002). Nakamura loses Nichia patent battle. - Pirates Osaka. (2014). Nakamura awarded Nobel Prize in Physics. Hatena Blog. - Growth Bozu via Twitter. - Rose, J. (2014). Blue LEDs – Filling the world with new light. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. - Pattison, P. M., et al. (2017). LED lighting efficacy. Comptes Rendus Physique. - Electricity pricing via EIA - Lane, K., et al. (2023). Lighting. IEA. - LED Footprint via The Climate Group - Nichia’s History via Nichia - Shuji Nakamura via Wikipedia - Images & Video: Lighting the World via UCTVInsight on YouTube - & Palo Alto Times 1971 Article via - Nick Holonyak, Jr. and the LED via UIUC on YouTube - The Original Blue LED via Science History Institute on YouTube - Maxfield, M. (2022). Compound Semiconductors. EE Journal. - M. Stutzmann, et al. (2001). Playing with Polarity. pss (b). - Isamu Akasaki in 1995 via Andrey Nikolaev on YouTube - Pioneer TX-610 Stereo Tuner via Ian Marino on YouTube - Shuji Nakamura via EPO on YouTube - Nichia Campus via Nichia on LinkedIn - Nichia via TDElektronik on YouTube - Violeds Sterilization of COVID-19 via Seoul Viosys - ▀▀▀ Special thanks to our Patreon supporters: Chris Harper, Max Paladino, Balkrishna Heroor, Adam Foreman, Orlando Bassotto, Tj Steyn, meg noah, KeyWestr, TTST, John H. Austin, Jr., john kiehl, Anton Ragin, Diffbot, Gnare, Dave Kircher, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Josh Hibschman, Juan Benet, David Johnston, Ubiquity Ventures, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Stephen Wilcox, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Michael Krugman, Sam Lutfi ▀▀▀ Directed by Emily Zhang Written by Emily Zhang, Ricky Nathvani, and Derek Muller Edited by Trenton Oliver Illustrated by Jakub Misiek Animated by Fabio Albertelli, Mike Radjabov, David Szakaly, Ivy Tello, and Alondra Vitae Filmed by Derek Muller, Raquel Nuno, and Trenton Oliver Additional research by Gregor Čavlović Produced by Emily Zhang, Han Evans, Gregor Čavlović, and Derek Muller Thumbnail by Ren Hurley Additional video/photos supplied by Getty Images and Pond5 Music from Epidemic Sound


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