A Japanese company named Sumitomo Electric Industries has developed “the world’s first (pure) green laser diode.” This development could result in TVs and pocket projectors that are superior “in terms of size, weight and power consumption.”
Light sources using lasers for display applications, such as laser TV’s and pocket laser projectors, are expected to have superior properties in terms of size, weight and power consumption. For this reason, R&D activities aimed at commercialization of these devices have expanded rapidly over the past several years. Up to now, only red and blue laser diodes were commercially available, while green lasers (*1) were obtained by frequency conversion of infrared lasers. Gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors, commercially available for blue LEDs, are also expected to be the key material for light-emitting devices in the green region. However, the material has been plagued with a phenomenon where the luminance efficiency shows a rapid decline with increasing wavelength.
At Sumitomo Electric, we have overcome this problem by developing a GaN crystal which inhibits the efficiency drop, resulting in room temperature pulse operation of a laser diode emitting in the pure-green region at 531nm. It is the first green laser diode in the world.