"Practically all LEDs which produce visible or ultraviolet light consist of gallium nitride“, states Alberta Bonanni, the Italian-born experimental physicist at the Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics at the University of Linz. However, the semiconductors consisting of gallium and nitrogen could not be used in the past for diodes in the infrared range. In this case crystals consisting of gallium and potentially hazardous arsenic are widely used.
Now Bonanni and her team have managed to significantly improve state-of-the-art technology. They have produced diodes on the basis of a gallium nitride crystal which also generates infrared light. And they succeeded in doing so for those ranges of light used for optimal data transfer, which in turn has enormous potential for being applied in digital networking.
Bonanni was recently given the Hedy Lamarr Prize, which honors outstanding female inventors.