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Craford received his MS (1963) and PhD (1967) degrees in physics from the University of Illinois in 1967, began his professional career at the Monsanto Chemical Company, then in 1979 joined Hewlett Packard, where in 1982 he became the research and development manager of the HP Optoelectronics Division. When Lumileds Lighting (now Philips Lumileds Lighting Company) spun out from HP in 1999, Craford was named the company's Chief Technical Officer (CTO).
In 1972 Craford invented the first yellow LED as well as red and red-orange LEDs. At Monsanto, his group developed nitrogen-doped GaAsP, and at HP pioneered development of AlInGaP LEDs and developed AlGaAs and InGaN products. More recently, his team implemented compound semiconductor wafer bonding to create devices with efficiencies exceeding incandescent and halogen lights.
Craford is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, and recipient of the 2002 National Medal of Technology and 1995 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, as well as awards from the Optical Society of America, Materials Research Society (MRS), and Electrochemical Society for his LED research. He received the IEEE Edison Medal, 2017 for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering, or the electrical arts.
- "M. George Craford", IEEE Spectrum, volume 32, issue 2, February 1995, pages 52–55. ISSN 0018-9235.
- "President Bush Awards Lumileds Lighting’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. M. George Craford the 2002 National Medal of Technology", press release, (November 6, 2003, Lumileds Lighting.
- Three Fives editorial board biography
- Materials Research Society (MRS) biography
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