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Fireflies provide flash of inspiration for cheaper LED lamps
October 30, 2012 / 12:21 AM / 5 years ago

Fireflies provide flash of inspiration for cheaper LED lamps

HONG KONG (Reuters) - South Korean scientists have copied the structure of a firefly’s underbelly to create what they say is an improved and cheaper LED lens that they hope will one day be used in smartphones, televisions and other devices.

Specimens of different species of fireflies are displayed at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in Kuala Lumpur July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad/Files

In a paper published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the scientists described how they were inspired by the firefly, a bright and efficient source of natural light.

“We made a new LED lens (copying) the nanostructure of the firefly lantern,” said lead author Ki-Hun Jeong, associate professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science of Technology’s department of bio and brain engineering.

By copying the structure of the firefly’s three-layered lower abdomen, Jeong and colleagues managed to do away with an expensive component in existing LED (light-emitting diode) lamps.

Fireflies produce light from the lower abdomen to attract mates and prey.

“By having this structure, it is comparable to the conventional anti-reflection coating of existing LED lights which is very expensive,” Jeong said.

“Our lens has a curvature, which is very similar to the anti-reflection coating, so we can minimise the lens price.”

Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Nick Macfie

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