Nano lamps replace LED technology

Let there be light

The age of conventional light bulbs is already a thing of the past. The lamp with an energy conductor heated by electricity no longer meets the energy efficiency requirements and has therefore been withdrawn from the market. The successor, the LED lamp, could fare similarly, the next step is already in the starting blocks with the carbon nanotube lamp.

Sendai (Japan). This year’s Nobel Prize winners in Physics are the Japanese Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura. You were awarded for inventing the blue LED. The blue LED light source, based on the principle of semiconductor technology, was discovered in 1992, and the first energy-saving light source – light emitting diodes – was discovered in the 1950s. A problem of the earlier technology, the low performance.

By heating the semiconductor in conjunction with a layer of gallium nitride, Shuji Nakamura succeeded in creating a blue LED. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano from the University of Nagoya worked in parallel on LED development, in this case using electron beam irradiation of crystals. That was 20 years ago. These scientific achievements were eventually recognized with the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Nanotechnology outperforms semiconductor technology

While this development already signified a great advance in energy efficiency, a new technology is already in the starting blocks. Here, too, Japanese researchers are developing the light source for the future. The team led by Norihiro Shimoi from Tohoku University in Japan has already developed the first prototype of a new lamp. This very flat lamp consists of a layer of crystalline nanotubes based on carbon and a positively charged electrode. A vacuum cavity and a final layer of phosphor complete the physical structure of the lamp. When the system is energized, the carbon nanotubes fire electrodes through the vacuum layer onto the phosphorus target plane. This then begins to glow evenly,

Thanks to an interference-free environment, the luminosity is extremely strong while at the same time being energy efficient. The technology achieves 60 lumens per watt, which is more than conventional light-emitting diodes and still below the strength of currently manufactured LED panels. However, the energy consumption is just 0.1 watts. The illuminant of the nanotubes is emission-friendly and also relatively inexpensive in the manufacturing process. So much sounds extremely positive for the future of this new technology.

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