Islamabad - Two-day international workshop on Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based LEDs and Laser Diodes started here jointly organised by the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) and National Institute of Laser and Optronics (NILOP).

Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology and Defence Production graced the event as a chief guest. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that the celebration of 2015, as the year of light was a global initiative, which would create awareness among the people about the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives. “Light has been a major factor in the evolution of humankind and our biosphere. That is why on December 20, 2013, the UN General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed, 2015 as the International Year of Light and light-based technologies (IYL2015),” he added. The minister said that light-based technology describes a range of applications aimed at directly raising the quality of life by reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating disease.

He lauded the role of PAEC and NILOP for organising such an event and hoped that such workshop would provide an excellent opportunity to researchers, including students, faculty members, engineers and scientists to learn, explore and share the knowledge in this emerging field that span lighting, optoelectronics, green energy and integrated photonics etc.

“As light becomes the key cross-cutting discipline of science and engineering in the 21st century, it is essential that the brightest young minds to be  attracted into careers in this field and the energy crisis the country is facing to be harnessed,” he added.

Earlier, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Director NILOP apprised the audience that this event is the part of International Year of Light 2015 celebration, which is global initiative, adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

“International Year of Light 2015 programs will promote improved public understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015 - from the first studies of optics 1000 years ago by Ibn Al-Hayyan, to discoveries in optical communications that power the internet today. Highlighting the importance of this emerging area of research”, he added that 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the invention of “GaN-based blue light emitting diodes”.

This invention has enabled development of bright and energy-saving white light sources. This workshop will provide an overview of epi-materials and devices from design and simulation to growth, fabrication and characterisation of GaN based LEDs and Laser diodes structures.

The minister also visited various labs and showed great interest in the laser-based products at NILOP especially laser land leveler and defense related products.

A large number of guests including scientists, engineers, students and academia are participating in the event.