The demand for lighting generated by light emitting diodes (LEDs) is on the rise. LED lights are less costly and more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, and they even have advantages over compact fluorescent light (CFL) light sources. As a result, they are highly desirable for consumers who are looking to reduce their energy bills and their environmental footprint.1 In addition, LED lights are highly reliable: they last 2-4 times longer than CFL bulbs and 25-35 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs2
As a result, the national and global markets for LED bulbs are booming. According to a recent report, the global market is expected to jump from $29.6 billion USD in 2016 to $33.1 billion USD in 2017, and the market penetration rate is expected to reach 52 percent.3 However, one sector in which the LED lighting market remains limited is the industrial production of colored LED lights. It has simply been too expensive to manufacture high-quality LED lights of particular colors on a large scale—until now.
A recent research report out of Ludwig-Maximilians Universitaet (LMU) in Munich, Germany, details a manufacturing method that could make industrial production of colored LED lights commercially feasible for the first time. In the future, researchers who want to build on these findings to further expand the potential of LED light technology can use electronic lab notebook technology to support their work.
Recent Breakthroughs in LED Light Manufacturing Methods
Incandescent light bulbs only produce light of a single color, but LEDs have the potential to produce light of any color between infrared and ultraviolet on the electromagnetic spectrum. The color of the light depends on its wavelength, and the wavelength is determined by the semiconductor that is used in the lighting device. For some semiconducting materials, it is also possible to tailor the color of the light by changing the size of the nanocrystals of the semiconducting material in the light-emitting layer. However, in the past, the process of creating nanocrystals of specific sizes was too costly for the industrial scale.4
The scientists at LMU, along with collaborators at the at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria and at several other institutions around Europe, recently developed a novel method for the production of semi-conducting nanocrystals of certain sizes. Rather than using traditional materials, the researchers harnessed the power of solution-derived metal halide perovskites, which are far less expensive. Plus, metal halide perovskites are quantum-confined.5
This means that they are highly stable, so the color of the LED light will not change over time—another problem that manufacturers encountered in the past. This method also ensures that their is no contact between the semiconductor crystals and external factors that might cause damage, like oxygen and water, which could otherwise reduce the lifetimes of LED lights, especially those used in outdoor displays.
Employing Electronic Lab Notebooks for LED Light Research
The recently published study represents an important step forward in terms of LED research, and it also opens up new avenues for research in the field. For instance, the authors believe that it is possible to build on their findings to find ways to make LED light technology even more efficient in the future. Also, their recently reported LED light manufacturing method is not yet sufficient for creating flexible displays, so further research and method development efforts will be required to optimize the technology for a broader range of real-world applications.
There are several ways that electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) can support the future work of researchers focusing research and development efforts on LED light technology. Perhaps most significantly, this work will require collaboration. Case in point: the recently published study combined the expertise of fifteen different scientists from around the world. Electronic lab notebooks can make it easy to transfer data between researchers in disparate locations, which streamlines data analysis processes and mediates high-level discussions between experts.
As scientists look to develop more economical development methods for the manufacture of LED light bulbs, it will also be important to collaborate with market experts. It would even be helpful to consult with interior and exterior lighting designers, in order to find out what kind of technology is currently in demand from businesses and individual consumers. Again, electronic lab notebooks can make it easy to transmit crucial information so that all interested parties remain on the same page.
BIOVIA Electronic Lab Notebooks are ideal for researchers working on cutting-edge technologies like LED lighting. At every stage of the R&D process, from initial conception to manufacturing process development, ELNs can help organize data and streamline collaboration with other scientists and market experts. Contact us today to learn more about bringing this innovative technology to your lab!
- Appliance science: the illuminating physics behind LED lights,” 2017, https://www.cnet.com/news/appliance-science-how-led-lights-work/ ↩
- “CFLs vs LEDs: The better bulbs,” 2017, https://www.greenamerica.org/green-living/cfls-vs-leds-better-bulbs ↩
- LEDinside: LED lighting market to wroth USD 33.1B as market penetration rate hit 52% by 2017,” November 2, 2016, http://www.ledinside.com/intelligence/2016/11/ledinside_led_lighting_market_to_worth_usd_33_1b_as_market_penetration_rate_hit_52_by_2017 ↩
- “Nanocrystalline LEDS: Red, green, yellow, blue,” August 7, 2017, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807082328.htm ↩
- “Confining metal-halide perovskites in nanoporous thin films,” August 2017, http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/8/e1700738 ↩