Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center

The Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) at UC Santa Barbara is a collaborative center, which partners key industry leaders and UCSB researchers to advance solid-state lighting and energy efficient power switching using wide-bandgap semiconductors.  

SSLEEC is focused on new semiconductor based technologies for disinfection, advanced mobile displays, energy efficient lighting, and power electronics. The objective of the SSLEEC is to provide a forum for its members - key industry partners and the faculty and student researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara - to work in collaboration and across scientific disciplines to address the most challenging problems in these important and timely areas of research.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need for scalable solutions around disinfection. Existing UVC systems are bulky, inefficient, and costly. For over 15 years, SSLEEC has been actively researching materials growth, simulation, and characterization, as well as device design and fabrication, needed to achieve high-efficiency LEDs operating in the UVC wavelength band. For UVC-LED details, go to: support UVC-LED research, click:

The transition from incandescent and fluorescent lighting to high-efficiency solid-state based lighting is picking up steam. However, key challenges persist, including efficiency droop at high current densities and temperatures and availability of large-area bulk GaN substrates at a variety of crystal orientations.  SSLEEC continues to push the frontier with new developments in semi-polar and non-polar GaN devices, innovation in high-efficiency laser-based lighting, and exploration of novel methods for bulk crystal growth.

Electrical power is used inefficiently in cell phones, computers, appliances, automobiles, industrial equipment, while power distribution systems themselves account for a tremendous waste of energy. New transistors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and related alloys offer a route to cut this waste significantly, providing energy savings compared to those expected from solid-state lighting. Researchers in the SSLEEC pioneered GaN based power transistors and continue to lead the world with new discoveries and inventions.

Under the leadership of Professors Steven DenBaars and Shuji Nakamura, Umesh Mishra and Jim Speck, SSLEEC has established one of the most unique and successful business models among universities and industry partners. Over the past 6 years, SSLEC produced a key patent portfolio of >150 patents. The center has produced 430+ publications since 2007. 


In the News

Photo by Jeff Liang, UC Santa Barbara
May 22, 2023

Pictured here with Ann Marie Musto Associate Vice Chancellor of HR & Chief HR Officer. 

Photo by Jeff Liang, UC Santa Barbara
May 22, 2023

Pictured here with Ann Marie Musto Associate Vice Chancellor of HR & Chief HR Officer. 

Photo by Jeff Liang, UC Santa Barbara
May 22, 2023

Pictured here with Ann Marie Musto Associate Vice Chancellor of HR & Chief HR Officer. 

Nobel News

December 16, 2019

November 08, 2019

November 7, 2019

November 04, 2019

October 16, 2019

October 02, 2019

October 01, 2019

September 23, 2019

Congratulations to Professor Shuji Nakamura on his Honorary Degree from the Universiti Sains Malaysia! 

September 05, 2019

September 4, 2019

August 28, 2019

Event: AAAFM-UCLA International Conference on Advances in Functional Materials

Date: August 21, 2019

July 05, 2019

June 25th 2019, Université Toulouse III

July 02, 2019

Wednesday, Apr

June 25, 2019

Tribute to Shuji Nakamura 

April 19, 2019

The University of Perugia awarded the Honorary Doctorate

April 04, 2019

ESE Seminars & Events

The Jack Keil Wolf Lecture in Electrical and Systems Engineering

February 04, 2019
February 04, 2019

January 14, 2019

Last month, the Zayed Sustainability Prize (aka Zayed Future Energy Prize) launched Guiding Light, an inspirational, five-country

September 20, 2018
June 28, 2018
    June 18, 2018

    June 18, 2018

    Congratulations t

    April 13, 2018

    How to keep an innovative mind? 

    Short video clip from April 2015. 

    April 13, 2018

    June 2017 

    April 12, 2018
    February 02, 2018
    January 29, 2018

    January 25, 2018 at 1:40 am by Stephanie Pernett

    January 24, 2018

    Breakthroughs in energy and light efficiency are transforming millions of lives in developing countries

    January 16, 2018

    UCSB professor and

    January 03, 2018

    Please view Convergence stories at 

    May 19, 2017


    February 08, 2017

    June 21, 2016

    The 2014 Nobel Laureates m

    June 21, 2016

    June 21, 2016

    This is a video recording of Professor Shuji Nakamura's 2/4/2016 Nobel Lecture at the International Year of the Light (IYL) Closing Ceremony in Mer

    April 03, 2016
    According to 
    November 30, 2015
    November 30, 2015
    December 08, 2014

    Professor Shuji Nakamura's Nobel lecture: "Shuji Nakamura - Nobel Lecture: Background Story of the Invention of Efficient Blue InGaN Light Emitting Diodes". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 8 Dec 2014. Video links on the UCTV website.

    October 07, 2014

    Please watch this intimate interview and read a great story about Dr. Shuji Nakamura at You will hear his life story and see his portrait painted.

    October 07, 2014

    Santa Barbara Artist Holli Harmon interviewed Professor Shuji Nakamura Congratulations on the Nobel Prize, Shuji Nakamura!

    March 11, 2014

    About this series: We take light for granted, but more than two billion people in the world go through their entire lives without reliable lighting. But that is changing, thanks in part to the brilliant discovery of UC Santa Barbara's Shuji Nakamura. This four-part series, made possible by UC Santa Barbara's Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, tells the story of Nakamura's determined effort to develop the white LED and the revolution in lighting that his discovery has brought to the world.

    March 08, 2013

    In this episode of Lighting the World - after years of effort, Shuji Nakamura discovers the breakthrough that enables the creation of the white-light emitting LED, unleashing a revolution in the way the world uses light and power.

    March 01, 2013

    Brilliant Discovery UCTV has released the second episode of its four-part series, "Lighting the World: Shuji Nakamura and His Brilliant Discovery", telling the story of the UC Santa Barbara professor's efforts to develop the white LED and the lighting revolution that followed. The new segment introduces viewers to Nakamura and explores the genesis of his quest.