Lighting

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on lighting, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Text Tech: Navy Vessels Use Shipboard Signal Lamps for Text Messaging

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) TechSolutions program, the Flashing Light to Text Converter (FLTC) features a camera that can be mounted atop a signal...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
New Engine Optics to Fuel Future Research

An optical setup developed by researchers at Sandia's Combustion Research Facility and the Technical University of Denmark can now quantify the formation of soot — particulate matter consisting...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Single-Crystal SiGe/Sapphire Epitaxy

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new low-temperature method of SiGe/sapphire growth that produces the same single-crystal films with much less thermal loading effort to the substrate. This eliminates the time-consuming and costly high heating, long thermal soak times, and interfacial Si layer....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Two-Dimensional Semiconductor Materials Created Using Artificial “Superlattices”

One current method to build a semiconductor superlattice — materials comprised of alternating layers of ultra-thin, two-dimensional sheets only one or a...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Generating Light-Induced Electrical Current in Atomically Thin Nanomaterials

When hit with light, semiconductors (materials that have an electrical resistance in between that of metals and insulators) generate an electric current....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
“Soft Hardware” Cloth Has Built-In Electronic Devices

Optical fibers have been traditionally produced by making a cylindrical object called a preform — essentially, a scaled-up model of the fiber — and then heating it. Softened...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Efficient Semiconductor Material for Thermal Management

Computer processors have continued to shrink down to nanometer sizes where there can be billions of transistors on a single chip. This phenomenon is described under Moore's Law, which...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Positional Sensor Measures Rotational and Lateral Displacements

Positional sensors have applications where a very accurate measurement of position is needed over a limited range. One example of such an application is in manipulation of a...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
See Objects Hidden Around Corners

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the...

Briefs : Lighting
Compact Science Experiment Module

Crew time on the International Space Station (ISS) is extremely limited for any operations on science payloads. Autonomous science experiments in small, self-contained, cubical payloads are highly desirable...

Briefs : Energy
Wireless Charging of Moving Electric Vehicles

If electric cars could recharge while driving down a highway, it would virtually eliminate concerns about their range and lower their cost, perhaps making electricity the standard fuel for vehicles. Researchers have wirelessly transmitted electricity to a nearby moving object, which could advance...

Briefs : Imaging
Machine Vision System

A number of instruments have been built to obtain range images — a two-dimensional array of numbers that gives the depth of a scene along many directions from a central point in the instrument. Instead of measuring the brightness of many points in a scene, as in a television camera, these instruments measure where each...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
High-Performance Photocatalytic Oxidation Reactor System

As crewed space missions extend beyond low Earth orbit, the need to reliably recover potable water is critical. Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the water is recycled from cabin humidity condensate, urine distillate, and hygiene wash wastes. In spacecraft cabin air...

Briefs : Lighting
Quantum Dots Improve Colors on TV and Computer Screens

High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. A new technology called 3M quantum dot enhancement...

Briefs : Lighting
Scientists Create Semiconductor Junction Only Three Atoms Thick

Scientists at the University of Washington have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick. Two of these single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless...

Briefs : Lighting
Gallium Nitride Nanowire Tips Function as LEDs

A team of researchers has demonstrated that atomic force microscope (AFM) probe tips made from its near-perfect gallium nitride nanowires are superior in many respects to standard silicon or platinum tips in measurements of critical importance to microchip fabrication, nanobiotechnology, and other...

Briefs : Lighting
New Technique Makes LEDs Brighter, More Resilient

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new processing technique that makes light emitting diodes (LEDs) brighter and more resilient by coating the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN) with a layer of phosphorus-derived acid.

Briefs : Lighting
First Single-Molecule LED Developed

The ultimate challenge in the race to miniaturize light emitting diodes (LED) has finally been met. A team led by the Institut de Physique et de Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS, CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), in collaboration with UPMC and CEA, has developed the first-ever single-molecule LED.

Briefs : Lighting
Two-Dimensional Material Shows Promise for Optoelectronics

A team of MIT researchers has used a novel material that’s just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light. This proof-of-concept could lead to ultra-thin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic...

Briefs : Lighting
Improving the Efficiency of Green-Blue-Ultraviolet Light-Emitting Diodes

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have suggested a method that could significantly increase the efficiency of green-blue-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes based on GaInN/GaN, AlGaN/GaN, and AlInN/GaN quantum wells. Their approach could enable advances...

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

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...

Briefs : Lighting
New Plastic-Like Polymer Could Lead To White Organic LEDs

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.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Plastic Optic Fiber—An Evolving Technology

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....

Briefs : Lighting
Device Captures Signatures with Tiny Piezo-Phototronic LEDs

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...

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

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...

Briefs : Lighting
New Family of Tiny Crystals Glow Bright in LED Lights

Minuscule crystals that glow different colors may be the missing ingredient for white LED lighting that illuminates homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight.

Briefs : Lighting
Fine-Tuning Emissions From Quantum Dots

Tiny particles of matter called quantum dots, which emit light with exceptionally pure and bright colors, have found a prominent role as biological markers. In addition, they are realizing their potential in computer and television screens, and have promise in solid-state lighting. New research at MIT...

Briefs : Lighting
Atomic-Scale Investigations Solve Key Puzzle of LED Efficiency

From the high-resolution glow of flat screen televisions to light bulbs that last for years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) continue to transform technology. The celebrated efficiency and versatility of LEDs and other solid-state technologies including laser diodes and solar...

Briefs : Lighting
Nanometer-Scale Material Can Speed Up and Squeeze Light

In a process comparable to squeezing an elephant through a pinhole, researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have designed a way to engineer atoms capable of funneling light through ultra-small channels. Their research is the latest in a series of recent findings related...

Briefs : Lighting
New Technique Could Improve Optical Devices

Amulti-university research team has used a new spectroscopic method to gain a key insight into how light is emitted from layered nanomaterials and other thin films. The technique, called energy-momentum spectroscopy, enables researchers to look at the light emerging from a thin film and determine...

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