Lighting

New Approach To Growing InGaN Crystals For Diodes Could Also Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

Metal-modulated epitaxy allows an atomic, layer-by-layer growth of the material.

Crystals form the basis for the penetrating icy blue glare of car headlights and now they could be fundamental to the future in solar energy technology? Crystals are at the heart of diodes. Not the kind you might find in quartz, formed naturally, but manufactured to form alloys, such as indium gallium nitride or InGaN. This alloy forms the light emitting region of LEDs, for illumination in the visible range, and of laser diodes (LDs), in the blue-UV range.

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New Plastic-Like Polymer Could Lead To White Organic LEDs

Inserting platinum metal atoms into a chain-like organic polymer enabled tuning of the colors emitted.

By inserting platinum atoms into an organic semiconductor, University of Utah physicists were able to “tune” the plastic-like polymer to emit light of different colors – a step toward more efficient, less expensive and truly white organic LEDs for light bulbs of the future.

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LED Panels Illuminate Stained Glass Window

The newly-renovated Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, Ohio, has a large, ornate rose stained-glass window that faces the Seidman Cancer Center at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center across Euclid Avenue. In a joint partnership project between the church and hospital entitled, “Hands Across the Healthway,” the neighbors wanted to find a way to illuminate the stained glass window so that recovering patients can view the illumination.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting
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State-of-the-Art LED Cooling Technology

The story behind LED development—only the 4th lighting technology developed in human history— is remarkable. The potential ahead of LED lighting to deliver real and measurable advantages— to save energy, last years longer, significantly lower bottom-line costs—is limitless. That said the LED industry must focus on addressing a number of technical issues that are currently interfering with more widespread adoption of LED lighting.

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Plastic Optic Fiber—An Evolving Technology

POF technology has much to offer to the device industry.

Plastic Optic Fiber (POF) is an established, continually evolving technology available since the early 1980s. From the outset, it was a technology not highly visible for years. At times, it was utilized as a media product within another product, attached to a variety of opto-couplers or light sources. Primarily it was intended to transmit information of functional digital data transfer for many sensing concepts and for small form illumination. In addition, the very nature of POF technology brings to engineering many of the attributes of glass fiber optic technology. But, the extensive functions of POF lend themselves to much wider product uses including medical instruments, data control and networks, automotive use, and a host of industrial concepts. At the same time, POF offers low-cost solutions for short-range communications, and a majority of defined illumination requirements.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Lighting, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Materials, Plastics, Inspection Equipment, Medical, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Robotics, Data acquisition and handling, Fiber optics, Medical equipment and supplies, Plastics
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Device Captures Signatures with Tiny Piezo-Phototronic LEDs

Sensor device converts mechanical pressure into light signals that can be processed optically.

Using thousands of nanometer-scale wires, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a sensor device that converts mechanical pressure – from a signature or a fingerprint – directly into light signals that can be captured and processed optically. The sensor device could provide an artificial sense of touch, offering sensitivity comparable to that of the human skin. Beyond collecting signatures and fingerprints, the technique could also be used in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems. Ultimately, it could provide a new approach for human-machine interfaces.

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New Kind of Ultraviolet LED Could Lead to Portable, Low-Cost Devices

Light shines bright at precise frequencies that suit commercial applications.

Commercial uses for ultraviolet (UV) light are growing, and now a new kind of LED under development at The Ohio State University could lead to more portable and low-cost uses of the technology. The patent-pending LED creates a more precise wavelength of UV light than today’s commercially available UV LEDs, runs at much lower voltages, and is more compact than other experimental methods for creating precise wavelength UV light. The LED could lend itself to applications for chemical detection, disinfection, and UV curing. With significant further development, it might someday be able to provide a source for UV lasers for eye surgery and computer chip manufacture.

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LRC Evaluates Safety Impacts of Advanced Car Headlight Systems

Crash risks while driving at night are higher than during the daytime, but most roadways in the U.S. do not have roadway lighting. In fact, many state and local governments find it difficult to pay for installing, operating and maintaining roadway lighting. Despite these concerns, the proportion of nighttime driving is not likely to go down in today's round-the-clock economy, making car headlights increasingly important to nighttime driving safety. Through its Transportation Lighting and Safety program, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is evaluating the potential for new lighting technologies and approaches to improve driving safety at night, including new car headlight systems.

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Researchers Build A Better Device to Detect Ultraviolet Light

Researchers in Japan have developed a new type of photodiode that can detect in just milliseconds a certain type of high-energy ultraviolet light, called UVC, which is powerful enough to break the bonds of DNA and harm living creatures. Although this radiation doesn't normally reach the Earth's surface, it can leak through to just below the hole in the ozone layer. Monitoring this radiation is a way of tracking the hole in the ozone layer, and photodiodes that measure UVC are also used as flame sensors and for communication in space.

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Silicon Nanocrystals Could Be Safe For Deep-Tissue Imaging

Tiny silicon crystals caused no health problems in monkeys three months after large doses were injected, marking a step forward in the quest to bring such materials into clinics as biomedical imaging agents, according to a recent study. The findings suggest that the silicon nanocrystals, known as quantum dots, may be a safe tool for diagnostic imaging in humans. The nanocrystals absorb and emit light in the nearinfrared part of the spectrum, a quality that makes them ideal for seeing deeper into tissue than traditional fluorescence-based techniques.

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