Further possibilities of LIGHT /
Future of ENERGY
Advanced Technologies for Realizing the Dreams of Society
Pursuing the quality of light and the function of light
Illuminating the world with light that only Nichia can provide.
By focusing on the importance of both the quality and function of light, Nichia is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of LEDs for lighting. For example, Nichia has created new generations of products such as Optisolis™, which produces light that is extremely close to the color of natural light, Vitasolis™, which focuses on activating the nave of humans, and Tunable White, which can be used to change colors in a single package. Expectations are also high for deep-ultraviolet UV-C LEDs, which will replace mercury sterilization lamps and inactivate viruses.
Responsibility to realize a mercury free society and virus inactivation
Pursuing the essence of light, Nichia has been introducing new technological achievements one after another to the world. Even for UV-LEDs (ultraviolet LEDs), which are generally said to be difficult to provide a stable supply of high-quality products, Nichia has been delivering a wide variety of products under its strict quality assurance system, placing the highest priority on providing customers with peace of mind. Nichia’s latest achievement is the deep ultraviolet UV-C LED. In terms of sterilizing effect by wavelength, the 260nm wavelength is generally considered to be the most effective; however, Nichia has chosen the 280nm wavelength by considering the maximization of the virucidal power and lifetime. By replacing mercury germicidal lamps, which are considered to have a problematic environmental impact, Nichia will play a role in realizing a mercury-free society. Nichia has also confirmed the inactivation effect of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which is a pressing concern these days.
New coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
- 0sec irradiation(1000x dilution for virus visibility)
- 20sec irradiation
- 30sec irradiation
- non-infected cells
(Courtesy of Professor Masako Nomaguchi, Tokushima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences)
(SARS-CoV-2/Hu/DP/Kng/19-020, Genbank: LC528232 was provided by Kanagawa Institute of Public Health)
Influenza virus (H1N1)
(Courtesy of Professor Akira Takahashi, Tokushima University Graduate School)
Replicate the color as if it were seen under sunlight
Nichia opens a new field supportive of the human lifestyle with various cutting-edge LEDs by focusing on the importance of both the quality and function of light. Optisolis™, developed in 2018 and the first of this new concept, realizes super high CRI. Nichia utilized its Blue LED and Phosphor technology that Nichia has cultivated over many years and succeeded to achieve a spectrum that matches sunlight. Objects' colors under Optisolis™ demonstrate their natural appearance, as if they were illuminated under the sun. In addition, the spectrum contains essentially no UV radiation which can damage materials. This is critical in a museum application where artwork can be enjoyed as the artist intended, without risk or concern of damage or fading from poor lighting.
Additionally, Optisolis™ is used for inspection of printed materials and advanced medical sites.
Left: "Lady with an Ermine", Right: "Mona Lisa"
Images provided by Otsuka Museum of Art
Revitalize the mind and body
Research has shown that sunlight, especially its azure color, contributes to regulating human circadian rhythms, from a refreshing morning peak to inducing sleepiness at night. In 2019, Vitasolis™ became the world's first LED to enter this new field. By boosting the azure color, the secretion of the hormone serotonin can be stimulated. To achieve this, Nichia's unique phosphor technology was utilized to increase the amount of light around 480nm by up to 14% compared to conventional products. In addition to the large amount of azure color, a natural white color is also produced. The number of applications for Vitasolis™ is increasing, especially in office lighting.
“Upon measuring the level of physical and mental comfort and the level of stress, there has been a tendency that people working in a room lit with the VitasolisTM spectrum experienced reduced tiredness and stress, and an increase in work efficiency in terms of psychology and physiology.”
- Professor Masayoshi Kamijo at Shinshu University
Bringing innovation to tunable lighting
Mix two colors within one package
While the basic concept of circadian rhythm is the same as that of Vitasolis™, Tunable White was developed with a focus on the visual sensitivity perspective. Research has demonstrated that people feel refreshed when they wake up and see a fresh cool white color in the morning and feel relaxed when they see a warm white color in the evening. To support this, Nichia has added the ability to mix cool white and warm white colors within a single LED package.
In contrast to the conventional method of mixing two LED colors side-by-side, the new method uses a single LED package, single light-emitting surface, enabling a simple secondary optical system, either reflective or refractive based. This also enables a smaller, more compact design. The demand for Tunable White, which in terms of resource saving contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs), is expanding more and more as it becomes the preferred light source for hotels, residences, and offices.
Nichia's unique and optimal particle design
Nichia is developing energy that drives the future
As a leading phosphor manufacturer, Nichia's core technology is powder synthesis. Nichia produces magnetic materials from raw materials to finished products. With Nichia's unique synthesis process, the optimum particle design can be used for a wide range of motors for automotive, home appliances and industrial robots whose demand is rapidly increasing.
Nichia's commitment toSmFeN magnetic materials
Nichia's focus on SmFeN
To make the most of Nichia's powder synthesis technology developed for its global leading phosphor business, Nichia took on the challenge of SmFeN (samarium iron nitrogen) magnetic material about 30 years ago. The reason why Nichia chose SmFeN instead of pursuing NdFeB (neodymium iron boron), the mainstream magnetic material, was because Nichia saw the potential in its outstanding properties. Additionally, Nd, the main raw material of NdFeB, is produced in limited areas, and Nichia was concerned about supply chain and price instability. It is Nichia's greatest responsibility to ensure that its customers can use its products with peace of mind in terms of price and supply. SmFeN bonded magnets, which are injection-molded by mixing small percentages of resin with magnetic powder, are resistant to rust and cracking, highly resistant to water and heat, and have a high degree of shape flexibility. SmFeN is still not well known, but Nichia believes it has great potential.
Total performance and strengths become more evident as time passes
Nichia's commitment to SmFeN has become clear over time. The demand for HDD spindle motors, for example, was fueled by the freedom of physical shape that SmFeN bonded magnets offer. As the world looks forward to the arrival of electric vehicles and robotics, the performance of SmFeN bonded magnets will continue to expand the use of small motors.