Fireflies Inspire Brighter LEDs

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posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 04:43 AM
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Once again nature shows us how it is done. So much of what we call modern technology and medicine was to be found in nature first. The most important advance in antibiotics, penicillin, came from bread mold. Aspirin was first used by chewing on the bark of the willow tree. The purple dye reserved for royalty was extracted from the crushed bodies of dead beetles. The deadly natural poison, curare, is used in small concentrations as an important muscle relaxer. And the list goes on and on.

Here is one of the latest...

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By mimicking the jagged structure of a lightning bug’s “lantern” in a layer on top of existing LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, a team of researchers in Belgium, France, and Canada increased the amount of light from the semiconductor device by up to 55 percent.



“One advantage of [our] technique is that it can be coated on nearly every commercially available LED,” says Bay.



The authors examined the microscopic structure of the abdomen of a firefly found in Panama and discovered that the insect’s exoskeleton in this region of the body had jagged, misfit scales. Computer simulations and bench experiments confirmed that the sharp edges of these scales let out more light, the team reported in Optics Express.






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