Discoveries and early devices
RussianOleg Vladimirovich Losevindependently created the first LED in the mid 1920s; hisresearch, though distributed in Russian, German and British scientific journals, wasignored,
Braunstein observedinfrared emission generated by simple diode structures using GaSb, GaAs, InP,and Ge-Si
alloys at room temperature and at 77 kelvin.In 1961, experimenters Bob Biard and Gary Pittman working atTexas Instruments,
Holonyak is seen as the "father of the light-emittingdiode".
M. George Craford, a former graduate student of Holonyak's, invented the firstyellow LED and 10x brighter red and red-orange LEDs in 1972.
Up to 1968 visibleand infrared LEDs were extremely costly, on the order of US $200 per unit, and so hadlittle practical application.
The Monsanto Corporation was the first organization tomass-produce visible LEDs, using gallium arsenide phosphide in 1968 to produce redLEDs suitable for indicators.
Hewlett Packard(HP) introduced light-emitting diodesin 1968, initially using GaAsP material supplied by Monsanto. The technology proved tohave major applications for alphanumeric displays and was integrated into HP’s earlyhandheld calculators.
Some police vehiclelightbars incorporate LEDs.
The first commercial LEDs were commonly used as replacements for incandescent
indicators, and inseven-segment displays, first in expensive equipment such aslaboratory and electronics test equipment, then later in such appliances as TVs, radios,telephones, calculators, and even watches (see list of signal applications
). These redLEDs were bright enough only for use as indicators, as the light output was not enough toilluminate an area. Later, other colors became widely available and also appeared inappliances and equipment. As the LED materials technology became more advanced, thelight output was increased, while maintaining the efficiency and the reliability to an