Waterloo-developed nanotech to make LED light bulbs affordable

Energy-absorbing nanocrystals also hold promise as a “spray-on” light source.

0 May 21, 2014
Mike McLeod

Pavle Radovanovic, Canada Research Chair in Physical Chemistry and Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Materials at the University of Waterloo. (Photo credit: University of Waterloo)

Pavle Radovanovic, Canada Research Chair in Physical Chemistry and Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Materials at the University of Waterloo. (Photo credit: University of Waterloo)

As time runs out for incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) have failed to gain much consumer affection, many are looking to LED light bulbs to become the standard in lighting. While efficient, LEDs are also currently expensive to produce, due to rare earth components required to make naturally blue or red LEDs emit white light.

However, a research team at the University of Waterloo, headed by chemistry professor Pavle Radovanovic, say they have developed a nanotechnology that can perform the same function for a fraction of the price. The result could start a revolution in energy-efficient lighting, they say.

According to Radovanovic, who is also part of university’s Institute for Nanotechnology, the breakthrough combines energy-absorbing nanocrystals with organic dye molecules to create pure white light or emit any colour in the spectrum.

“We are coming closer to actually being able to produce white light for any given environment,” says Radovanovic.

Beyond LEDs, the transparent nanocrystals could also be used for other applications, he says. Developed in liquid form, for example, a spray solution of the nano-particles could applied to the inside of windows to let sunlight in during the day and brighten a living room at night.

At present, the University of Waterloo team is in talks with VC firms in the hopes of launching a start-up company to develop and market the technology in the near future.
www.uwaterloo.ca


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*