Nichia NSHU550 & NSHU590 LEDs (NSHU550, NSHU550E, NSHU590E)  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2017-03-05  



The NSHU550, manufactured by Nichia, is the world's first commercially produced UV LED. Released in 2002, the NSHU550 was a dim device, with a peak wavelength of 370nm and power output averaging between 0.5 to 2mW based on bin number. This LED was manufactured in two versions; the NSHU550E which came equipped with a flat glass window, and the NSHU590E, which had a curved glass lens. Initially the NSHU550 was sold through distributors for a unit price of $33.00, and potential buyers had to sign a liability waver for UV exposure as part of the purchase. Despite it's low power and high cost the NSHU550 was a was a technological breakthrough that saw use in many medical and laboratory applications.

The earliest NSHU550 LEDs that Nichia manufactured lack the 'E' suffix and are only rated for a 0.5mW nominal power output, versus 1.4mW for the NSHU550E. All of the parts in the family produce a shorter wavelength of UV than that generated by common 5mm UV LEDs, and as such are not safe to view with the naked eye.


Nichia NSHU550E UV LED
Nichia NSHU550E and NSHU590E UV LED, normal operation.

Nichia NSHU550 UV LED
Nichia NSHU550 UV LED, normal operation. The NSHU550 is the earliest version of this part and is only rated for a 0.5mW nominal power output.

Nichia NSHU550 LED die
Nichia NSHU550 die, 40x magnification.

Nichia NSHU590E LED die
The Nichia NSHU590E is equipped with a hemispherical glass lens.

Nichia NSHU550E UV LED
The earliest NSHU550 LEDs manufactured by Nichia lack the 'E' suffix on their part numbers. The parts shown here were made in the second month of 2002.

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