The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A light-emitting diode (LED) often can provide light in a more efficient manner than an incandescent light source and/or a fluorescent light source.
"Typically, an LED is formed of multiple layers, with at least some of the layers being formed of different materials. In general, the materials and thicknesses selected for the layers determine the wavelength(s) of light emitted by the LED. In addition, the chemical composition of the layers can be selected to try to isolate injected electrical charge carriers into regions (commonly referred to as quantum wells) for relatively efficient conversion to optical power. Generally, the layers on one side of the junction where a quantum well is grown are doped with donor atoms that result in high electron concentration (such layers are commonly referred to as n-type layers), and the layers on the opposite side are doped with acceptor atoms that result in a relatively high hole concentration (such layers are commonly referred to as p-type layers).
"A common approach to preparing an LED is as follows. The layers of material are prepared in the form of a wafer. Typically, the layers are formed using an epitaxial deposition technique, such as metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), with the initially deposited layer being formed on a growth substrate. The layers are then exposed to various etching and metallization techniques to form contacts for electrical current injection, and the wafer is subsequently sectioned into individual LED chips. Usually, the LED chips are packaged.
"During use, electrical energy is usually injected into an LED and then converted into electromagnetic radiation (light), some of which is extracted from the LED, for example, via an emission surface.
"The relatively high power efficiency associated with LEDs has created an interest in using LEDs to displace conventional light sources in a variety of lighting applications. For example, in some instances LEDs are being used as traffic lights and to illuminate cell phone keypads and displays. LEDs can also be used in many other traditional lighting applications, including spot lighting applications. Improved systems and methods for using LEDs in such applications would be desirable."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Light-emitting diodes, and related components, processes, systems, and methods are generally described. The subject matter of the present invention involves, in some cases, interrelated products, alternative solutions to a particular problem, and/or a plurality of different uses of one or more systems and/or articles.
"In one aspect, a system comprising an array of light-emitting diodes is described. In certain embodiments, the system comprises an array of light-emitting diodes having non-rectangular emission areas, the array of light-emitting diodes defining an outer perimeter having an approximately circular configuration, and an array of collimating lenses. In some such embodiments, the collimating lenses are configured to receive light emitted from the light-emitting diodes and redirect at least a portion of the light received from the light-emitting diodes toward an intersection plane such that the re-directed light from each of the collimating lenses overlaps at the intersection plane.
"In some embodiments, the system comprises an array of light-emitting diodes, comprising a first light-emitting diode having a non-rectangular emission area, a second light-emitting diode having a non-rectangular emission area, and a third light-emitting diode having a non-rectangular emission area. The system further comprises, in certain embodiments, an array of collimating lenses comprising a first collimating lens configured to receive at least a portion of the light emitted by the first light-emitting diode, a second collimating lens configured to receive at least a portion of the light emitted by the second light-emitting diode, and a third collimating lens configured to receive at least a portion of the light emitted by the third light-emitting diode. In some such embodiments, the collimating lenses are configured to re-direct at least a portion of the light received from the light-emitting diodes toward an intersection plane such that the re-directed light from each of the collimating lenses overlaps at the intersection plane.
"In another aspect, a method of producing a substantially circular-shaped, far-field illumination is provided. The method comprises, in some embodiments, emitting light from an array of light-emitting diodes comprising non-rectangular emission areas toward an array of collimating lenses. In some such embodiments, at least a portion of the light emitted from the light-emitting diodes is re-directed by the collimating lenses toward an intersection plane, and the re-directed light overlaps at the intersection plane.
"Other advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of various non-limiting embodiments of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying figures. In cases where the present specification and a document incorporated by reference include conflicting and/or inconsistent disclosure, the present specification shall control.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Non-limiting embodiments of the present invention will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying figures, which are schematic and are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the figures, each identical or nearly identical component illustrated is typically represented by a single numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component is labeled in every figure, nor is every component of each embodiment of the invention shown where illustration is not necessary to allow those of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention. In the figures:
"FIGS. 1A-1D are schematic illustrations of optical systems, according to certain embodiments;
"FIGS. 2A-2E are schematic illustrations of emission areas, according to certain embodiments;
"FIG. 2F is a schematic illustration of a system in which a relatively narrow beam angle is produced, according to some embodiments;
"FIG. 2G is a schematic illustration, according to certain embodiments, of a system in which a relatively wide beam angle is produced;
"FIGS. 3A-3C are, according to some embodiments, schematic illustrations of light emitting diodes and images at the intersection plane;
"FIG. 4 illustrates a light-emitting diode according to one set of embodiments;
"FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of an array of light-emitting diodes, according to some embodiments;
"FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of an optical system, according to one set of embodiments;
"FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate arrays of light-emitting diodes, according to certain embodiments; and
"FIGS. 8A-8H illustrate images at an intersection plane and at far-field, according to certain embodiments."
For additional information on this patent application, see: McDaniel, JR.,
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics,
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