Researchers Develop Sand that Produces White Sun-Like LEDs

October 17, 2018

Researchers at the IMDEA Materials Institute of Madrid, the University of La Rioja, and the University of Alicante have succeeded in producing a material similar to sand (silica nanoparticles) that emits high quality white light for a new generation of LED hybrids. 

As reported in LED Professional, the development of new silica nanoparticles that emit light is one of the most competitive fields and with more applications in the investigation of new sources of artificial light, since they reduce the impact on our visual system and can be manufactured in a more environmental-friendly way.

The fundamental contribution of this work is that it has managed to produce white light, which stands out for its stability, excellent quality and that does not harm the eyes. Until now, other researchers had managed to produce similar materials that emitted green, blue or red light, but not white, which is the key colour for their future exploitation. In addition, the LEDs prepared with this new material present a record of stability that by far outmatches the previously developed monochromatic ones. The light emitted by these new LEDs is very similar to sunlight, which also makes it healthier. The practical interest of this white light emitting sand is that it could replace the current colour filters based on rare earths such as Yttrium, whose extraction and exploitation causes significant negative effects on the environment.

University researchers from La Rioja and Alicante are experts in the use of coordination chemistry called sol-gel, a technique that allows the preparation of metal oxides with new properties. For his part, Rubén Costa, one of the international leaders in the design of luminescent devices, such as LEDs, and in the development of photovoltaic energy, investigates the properties of these oxides together with his research group in IMDEA Materials.

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