Nick Holonyak Jr. developed the first practical, visible-spectrum led in 1962 | 150 Engage Illinois Office of Corporate Relations
Celebrating our Sesquicentennial 1867-2017
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Professor Nick Holonyak Jr. (BSEE ’50, MSEE ’51, PhD ’54) was the first PhD student of Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen, and he has carried on Bardeen’s legacy as a semiconductor pioneer. Working at General Electric in 1962, Holonyak developed the first practical, visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED), changing information display and illumination forever. Some of the most common applications include architectural lighting, traffic lights, flashlights, remote controls, large-scale displays, signage, and status indicators on devices like cell phones. Since joining the ECE faculty in 1963, Holonyak— along with his Illinois students and colleagues—has gone on to develop the quantum well laser, improvements for vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), and most recently, the transistor laser.

Dates: 
Jan 01, 1962
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Nick Holonyak Jr. developed the first practical, visible-spectrum led in 1962