Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Materials Engineering


Materials Engineering


Richard Savage


In this thesis we examine the feasibility of developing a white light source capable of producing colors between 2500 and 7500 Kelvin on the black-body radiator spectrum by simply adjusting amperage to a blue and ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diode (LED). The purpose of a lighting source of this nature is to better replicate daylight inside a building at a given time of day. This study analyzes the proposed light source using a 385 nm UV LED, a 457 nm blue LED, a 479 nm blue LED, a 562 nm peak cerium doped yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG:Ce) phosphor, and a 647 nm peak selenium doped zinc sulfide (ZnS:Se) phosphor.

Our approach to this study initially examined optical performance of yellow-emitting phosphor (YAG:Ce) positioned at specific distances above a blue LED using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a substrate. An understanding of how phosphor concentration within the PDMS, the thickness of the PDMS, and how substrate distance from the LED die affected light intensity and color values (determined quantitatively by utilizing the 1931 CIE 2° Standard Observer) enabled equations to be developed for various lens designs to efficiently produce white light using a 457 nm peak wavelength LED. The combination of two luminescent sources (457 nm LED and YAG:Ce) provided a linear trend on the 1931 CIE diagram which required a red illumination source to obtain Kelvin values from 2500 to 7500. Red-emitting phosphor (ZnS:Se), selected to compliment the system, was dispersed with YAG:Ce throughout PDMS where they were stimulated with a blue LED thereby enabling all desired Kelvin values with differing concentration lenses. Stimulating ZnS:Se with the addition of a UV LED did not provide the ability to change the color value of the set up to the degree required. Many other factors resulted in the decision to remove the UV LED contribution from the multi-Kelvin light source design. The final design incorporated a combination of ZnS:Se and YAG:Ce stimulated with a blue LED to obtain a 2500 Kelvin value. A separate blue LED provides the means to obtain 7500 Kelvin light and the other color values in between, with a linear approximation, by adjusting the amperages of both LEDs.

In addition to investigating the feasibility of obtaining the Kelvin values from 2500 to 7500, this thesis also examined the problem of ZnS:Se’s inability to cure in PDMS and a method to create a lens shape to provide equal color values at all points above a phosphor converted LED source. ZnS:Se was found to be curable in PDMS if first coated with a low viscosity silicon oil prior to dispersion within PDMS. The lens configuration consists of phosphors equally distributed in PDMS and cured in the shape of a Gaussian distribution unique to multiple factors in LED-based white light design.