Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kelabit Co-Invents World's Fastest LET, LED

Thanks, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).

A young Kelabit scientist has put Malaysia on the forefront of environmental technology by co-inventing the world's fastest spontaneous Light Emitting Transistor (LET) and Light Emitting Diode (LED).

Gabriel Walter, 32, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC) in the United States, scored a national breakthrough in technology by co-inventing light emitters capable of transmitting at speeds of up to 7GHz.

This translates into technology that is capable of conserving a massive amount of energy.

For more than 40 years, the scientific community believed that efficient spontaneous light devices cannot be operated at bandwidths larger than 1GHz.

However, Walter, through collaboration between his own company Quantum Electro Opto Systems (QEOS) and a research team from his alma mater, came up with the technology that defied the norm.

It took over five years of research but the QEOS-UIUC team proved that it was possible to operate LET at 4.3GHz and LED at 7GHz.

He said the high-speed LEDs would enable a new class of cost-competitive "green" products that were not only environmentally friendly but aesthetically pleasing as well.

"Those thick, ugly cables that usually come with your television and monitors will be things of the past," he said.

The research was funded by the United States Department of Defence.

Walter, from Kuching, Sarawak, scored his second success when the research was selected for publication in the Applied Physics Letter, the most widely-circulated technical journal.

"It will do the same to the world of optoelectronics like what transistors did to the world of electronics," he said.

Four patents have been jointly filed by the QEOS-UIUC team to protect these discoveries.

QEOS is based in Ayer Keroh, Melaka and was incorporated in May 2008 through the Brain Gain Malaysia Programme, an experimental initiative under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations.

Its founders include Prof Nick Holonyak Jr, the Father of the Optoelectronic Industry and inventor of LED, and Prof Milton Feng, a world-renowed microwave technology expert who invented the world's fastest transistor.

"We have been very fortunate to work with dedicated people from the Government," he said.

Walter said at least 30 per cent of the components used to manufacture the products resulting from this new achievement would be from Malaysia-based companies.

He disclosed that the research and development (R&D) facility in Melaka would be developed over the next five years.

"Melaka will be the QEOS headquarters for R&D," he said.

The Brain Gain Malaysia (BGM) programme encourages Malaysian scientists and researchers abroad to help accelerate Malaysia's transformation into an innovation-led economy.