Sir Colin Humphreys CBE FREng FRS
Colin Humphreys is a materials scientist who has carried out valuable work on the electron microscopy of semiconducting materials. His world-leading research on gallium nitride (GaN) has resulted in a substantially improved understanding of this important material with a wide range of technological applications.
In addition to its potential use within transistors as a next-generation alternative to silicon, GaN emits a brilliant light that makes it an ideal candidate for use in energy-saving LEDs. Colin has pioneered the development of low-cost, high-efficiency GaN-on-silicon (or ‘GaN-on-Si’) LEDs, which are now being manufactured based on his patented research. GaN LED lighting could save the United Kingdom £2 billion per year in electricity costs.
In parallel with his scientific career, Colin has devoted considerable time and effort to communicating materials science to lay audiences. This work led to his being awarded a CBE in January 2003 for services to science as a researcher and communicator, followed by a knighthood in 2010. Since 1996, he has also been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Interest and expertise
- Engineering, semiconductors, Materials science (incl materials engineering)
- Public understanding of science, Science policy
Electron microscopy, Semiconductors, Light-emitting diodes, High temperature structural materials, Diode lasers, Electronic materials, Gallium nitride