Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World of lights in the microcosmos

Date:
July 2, 2010
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Light-emitting diodes are gaining ground: They are now being used as background lighting for displays. But the manufacturing of complex LED optics is still complex and expensive. A new technology is revolutionizing production: Large-scale LED components can now be manufactured cost-effectively.

The superficial structures of this sheet are only a few micrometers in size.
Credit: Copyright Fraunhofer IPT

Light-emitting diodes are gaining ground: They are now being used as background lighting for displays. But the manufacturing of complex LED optics is still complex and expensive. A new technology is revolutionizing production: Large-scale LED components can now be manufactured cost-effectively.

Related Articles


Television screens are becoming increasingly flatter -- some have even become almost as thin as a sheet of paper. Their size takes impressive dimensions, much to the delight of home cinema fans. Cellphones and laptops also have ever brighter and more brilliant displays. All of these developments owe their thanks to miniature light-emitting diodes -- LEDs -- that beam background lighting into a multitude of devices.

However, LED technology does have a disadvantage. It is a point light source. But displays are two-dimensional. So how does one distribute the light from an LED evenly on as large a surface as possible, without massive energy loss? At the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, a truly one-of-a-kind machine is currently emerging. They will soon be producing fiber optic film that solves this problem and distributes the light two-dimensionally. What's so unusual and special about this: The films possess superficial structures measuring in the single-digit micrometer range, while the sheets themselves measure at two by one meter in size. This makes them the largest of their kind throughout the EU. In addition, they can be produced cost-effectively and with energy-efficiency in mass reproduction.

To do so, the researchers of IPT developed a process chain with which they can populate large-scale sheets with the necessary microstructures. "It's an ultraprecise process," says Dr. Christian Wenzel, senior engineer at IPT. Using pinpoint accuracy, the machine must apply the smallest structures -- just a few micrometers in size -- onto the surface of the film in a periodic sequence. "In order to produce the stamp, we use special diamond tools," explains Wenzel. The stamp consists of a gossamer-thin nickel sheet, and itself is also infinitesimal: Its surface equals at most two by two millimeters. Like a dot matrix printer, it must then process a sheet measuring two by one meter in size, guided by the ultraprecision machine. "Within a few days, we completely structured the entire surface. With the previous approach, the process would have taken weeks, or even months," says Wenzel. The preliminary product is the master: a transparent and optically conductive plastic panel.

In order to determine if the microstructured master possesses the desired characteristics, it must first be tested based on a few parameters. "The machine can accomplish this task as well," says Wenzel. If the approximately 80 percent of the surface is completely structured, the machine tests the properties of the sheet. If these properties are not consistent with the optical design settings, then the machine can implement the necessary corrections during the imprint process. "Well, we are optimizing the component while it's still in the machine," as Wenzel explains the advantages. Once the plastic surface has the desired light control capabilities, then the engineers immerse the master into a nickel bath and galvanize it. The nickel shim created in this manner can then go into mass replication.

"With our ultraprecise machine, we are capable of producing an entire array of systems with background lighting," says Wenzel. No matter if it's for displays, architectural lighting or a car's interior lighting: IPT researchers can implement almost any optical design, thanks to this machine, and adapt the machine technology -- reliably, and above all, efficiently. In other words: ready for mass production.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "World of lights in the microcosmos." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616090219.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2010, July 2). World of lights in the microcosmos. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616090219.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "World of lights in the microcosmos." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616090219.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins