LED design inspired by fireflies

The nighttime twinkling of fireflies has inspired scientists to modify a light-emitting diode (LED) so it is more than one and a half times as efficient as the original.

LED design inspired by fireflies
LED design inspired by fireflies

The nighttime twinkling of fireflies has inspired scientists to modify a light-emitting diode (LED) so it is more than one and a half times as efficient as the original.

Researchers from Belgium, France, and Canada studied the internal structure of firefly lanterns, the organs on the bioluminescent insects' abdomens that flash to attract mates.

The scientists identified an unexpected pattern of jagged scales that enhanced the lanterns' glow, and applied that knowledge to LED design to create an LED overlayer that mimicked the natural structure.

The overlayer, which increased LED light extraction by up to 55 percent, could be easily tailored to existing diode designs.

The work was published in a pair of papers in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express. More information can be found here.

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