Who was issued the first US patent for a light emitting diode?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Dr. James R. Biard and Gary Pittman of Texas Instruments received the first US patent for the LED (US3293513 "Semiconductor radiant diode" issued Dec. 20th, 1966).

    You can view the patent here:


    Their LED was infrared (invisible), nonetheless, it was the first US patent for the LED.

    The Smithsonian lists Biard and Pittman among the top inventors after 1960.



  • 8 years ago

    IR or red or what color?


    Electroluminescence as a phenomenon was discovered in 1907 by the British experimenter H. J. Round of Marconi Labs, using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat's-whisker detector. Russian Oleg Vladimirovich Losev reported creation of the first LED in 1927. His research was distributed in Russian, German and British scientific journals, but no practical use was made of the discovery for several decades. Rubin Braunstein of the Radio Corporation of America reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other semiconductor alloys in 1955. Braunstein observed infrared emission generated by simple diode structures using gallium antimonide (GaSb), GaAs, indium phosphide (InP), and silicon-germanium (SiGe) alloys at room temperature and at 77 kelvin.

    In 1961 American experimenters Robert Biard and Gary Pittman, working at Texas Instruments,[13] found that GaAs emitted infrared radiation when electric current was applied and received the patent for the infrared LED.

    The first practical visible-spectrum (red) LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr., while working at General Electric Company. Holonyak is seen as the "father of the light-emitting diode". M. George Craford, a former graduate student of Holonyak, invented the first yellow LED and improved the brightness of red and red-orange LEDs by a factor of ten in 1972. In 1976, T.P. Pearsall created the first high-brightness, high-efficiency LEDs for optical fiber telecommunications by inventing new semiconductor materials specifically adapted to optical fiber transmission wavelengths.

    Until 1968, visible and infrared LEDs were extremely costly, on the order of US $200 per unit, and so had little practical use. The Monsanto Company was the first organization to mass-produce visible LEDs, using gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) in 1968 to produce red LEDs suitable for indicators. Hewlett Packard (HP) introduced LEDs in 1968, initially using GaAsP supplied by Monsanto. The technology proved to have major uses for alphanumeric displays and was integrated into HP's early handheld calculators. In the 1970s commercially successful LED devices at less than five cents each were produced by Fairchild Optoelectronics. These devices employed compound semiconductor chips fabricated with the planar process invented by Dr. Jean Hoerni at Fairchild Semiconductor. The combination of planar processing for chip fabrication and innovative packaging methods enabled the team at Fairchild led by optoelectronics pioneer Thomas Brandt to achieve the needed cost reductions. These methods continue to be used by LED producers.

  • 8 years ago

    No patent for LED because it was a common known semi-conductor material.

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