Dr M George Craford

George Craford

George Craford developed VLED technology in the late 1970s, invented the yellow LED and improved the efficiency of high brightness, alloy compound semiconductor LEDs. He was born 29 December 1938, in Iowa, USA. After receiving his doctorate in physics from the University of Illinois in 1967, mentored by Holonyak, he joined the Monsanto Chemical Company. There, he led the company’s LED technology group and, in 1972, invented the yellow LED. He was made director of Technology for the Electronics Division in 1974 and, between 1967-79, helped Monsanto become the largest LED company in the world.

Craford joined Hewlett-Packard in 1979 as Technology Manager for the Optoelectronic Division where his team pioneered the development of AlInGaP LEDs using metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD). This increased the performance of red and yellow LEDs more than tenfold. In 1999, Craford became Chief Technology Officer of Lumileds Lighting, which developed the first high power white LEDs that are now widely found in automobile lights, and cellphone flashes. His later work focused on making cost effective white LED lights while his high brightness yellow and amber LEDS are now familiar sights in traffic signals and emergency lighting.

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The 2021 QEPrize is awarded to the creators of LED lighting

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering has been awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura, Nick Holonyak Jr, M. George Craford and Russell Dupuis for their work on LED lighting.