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Posted: Nov 04, 2012

Nanoscale structures of fireflies inspire cheaper LED lamps

(Nanowerk News) South Korean scientists have copied the structure of a firefly's underbelly to create what they say is an improved and cheaper LED lens.
They hope the discovery will one day be used in smartphones, televisions and other devices.
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal ("Biologically inspired LED lens from cuticular nanostructures of firefly lantern"), the scientists describe how they were inspired by the firefly, a bright and efficient source of natural light.
firefly
Fireflies produce light from the lower abdomen to attract mates and prey.
"We made a new LED lens (copying) the nanostructure of the firefly lantern," says 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," says Jeong.
"Our lens has a curvature, which is very similar to the anti-reflection coating, so we can minimise the lens price."
Source: By Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters
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