Nichia NSHU550E & NSHU590E  
Written by Accutron on 2010-03-28  

Devices included in this entry:

Nichia NSHU550E UV-LED (2-lead TO-46 metal can with flat window; pictured in thumbnail)
Nichia NSHU590E UV-LED (2-lead TO-46 metal can with spherical lens)


The Nichia NSHU550E and NSHU590E are the first commercially available UV-LEDs, featuring a 370nm peak wavelength and 1mW output. The NSHU550E and NSHU590E differ only in their optics: the NSHU550E has a flat glass window, while the NSHU590E has a spherical glass lens. The addition of a lens gives the NSHU590E a narrow beam output, but also reduces the diode's raw output power from 1mW to 0.75mW. These devices originally sold for over $30 each in 2001, when they were first being produced.

Nichia still manufactures improved versions of the NSHU550 and NSHU590, rated at up to 2.5mW output.

Roithner Lasertechnik NSHU550E Datasheet
Roithner Lasertechnik NSHU590E Datasheet


Nichia NSHU550E, powered to nominal drive current. The relatively weak blue glow represents only the fractional portion of the LED's output which falls above 400nm. Note the integral protection diode.


Nichia NSHU550E and NSHU590E UV LEDs. Despite their relatively modern origin, these devices are rarely seen in an unused condition. Nichia required a substantial legal commitment from the buyer prior to purchasing UV-LED products, which included clauses regarding UV exposure hazards, as well as restrictions on reverse-engineering and failure analysis of their UV-LED devices.

This article is part of the [Discrete Optoelectronics] exhibit.

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