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Ultra thin panels illuminate the future of microplasma


Scientists have invented an economical source of light in the form of a plate thickness of less than 1 millimeter. Impressive, however, is not only the thickness. The first samples of this device, the authors have managed to put on a thin aluminum substrate area in a couple of palms 250,000 HID lamps with a diameter of less than half a millimeter each.

Surprised the world with Sung-Jin Park (Sung-Jin Park), Gary Eden (Gary Eden), and colleagues from the University of Illinois.

In fact, we face a set of thousands of fluorescent light bulbs, created not in isolation, but at the same time, in a single device. Approximately as transistors and diodes are obtained on the surface of chips or the numerous and almost imperceptible eye holes on the surface of any filter.


“Each lamp – a little larger than the diameter of a human hair – says Park. – We can pack more than 250,000 lamps into a single panel. ” Eden adds: “Built of aluminum foil, sapphire and a small amount of gas is less than a millimeter thick panels can hang on the wall like a framed photograph.”

Microcavity Plasma Lamp is made of an aluminum substrate is an aluminum mask (screen) with regularly spaced holes in the shape of a diamond (with a diameter of about 500 micrometers), employees “traps” for the gas layer of sapphire (aluminum oxide transparent) covering the substrate and the mask (he serves as an insulator), a thin glass coating masks and the “final” glass with a layer of phosphor phosphor on the inside.

The total thickness of the sandwich was 800 micrometers. In this Eden Park and built a few samples of flat panels. Some glowing plot area exceeding 200 square centimeters.
And I must say, these panels are lit quite brightly. The effectiveness of a new type of lamp is 15 lumens per watt. After some optimization of the design, how to calculate the inventors of it will be easy to get 30 lumens (or maybe more) per watt.
Of course, this is not a record in the world of lighting equipment (hereinafter referred to here may differ promising LEDs), but still better than most conventional bulbs, which have a return of 10-13 lumens per watt.
The point of the research is to reach the so-called “microplasma” the efficiency of conventional fluorescent lamps, or about 60-90 lumens per watt.
On top of the advantages of the new lamps film, in contrast to conventional fluorescent lamps large (long “tubes”), does not require a reflector, lens heavy and bulky body. And “microplasma” to work does not need ballast.
In addition, although in the short press release the authors did not specify what gas glows in the microscopic cells of the panel, it is known that there is no mercury in the lamp would be happy to celebrate the environmentalists.
It is obvious that the same technology can create a large area of ​​the lamp. And begs luminous walls, decorative panels or tiles – is not the only application of new items.


The researchers constructed a similar glowing panel on a flexible polymer substrate and the flexible transparent cover. They already can bend, so – for application on curved surfaces (windshield of the car, for example, body parts).

Also easy to imagine such a film, glued to headlining. Diffuse soft glow of the ceiling will look advantageous compared to conventional shades. But this lamp will be more cost efficient.

Flexible set of micro-cells can be used as photo-therapeutic bandages for the treatment of psoriasis with ultraviolet light.

The results of the present work will be published in the Journal of Physics D – Applied Physics in June. Meanwhile, the authors intend to significantly improve the light of its parameters. And they already are, how Microcavity Plasma Lamp replaces incandescent lamps of offices, homes, theaters and shops.