LED efficiency mystery solved
Until recently, researchers were stumped over the fact that LED modules can actually become less efficient when they are subjected to higher currents.
This seems counter intuitive, because the so-called 'droop' effect causes less light to be emitted when the LED is receiving more power.
Obviously, if this could be overcome, then there would be real implications for the creation of brighter, more efficient LED displays and, according to scientists at the University of California, there may be an explanation behind the phenomenon.
Investigating LEDs as an alternative to traditional fluorescently backlit displays and lighting solutions, is seen as important by many, mostly because it offers the opportunity to replace older, less energy efficient setups with a more durable, green technology.
The complex science behind the LED 'droop' is now known to be related to something called Auger recombination, which relates to the collision of electrons within an LED unit, producing heat rather than light when particularly high currents are applied.
It was previously impossible to measure the levels of Auger recombination in LEDs, but a technique to do so has been developed by researchers and this could lead to better designs in the future, according to Eureka Alert.
The researchers will be publishing the results of an in-depth study this month, in the Physical Review Letters journal, which should hold plenty of technical information for those with scientific minds.
For the rest of us, it will simply be a case of waiting to see how this discovery is practically applied in the manufacture of LED displays and lighting solutions going forward.
LEDs are already more efficient than most other alternatives, but there are still barriers to wider adoption, such as the per-unit cost. This might be addressed if this study can bear fruit on the commercial market.