Carbon nanotubes breakthrough promises future beyond LED

Scientists from Tohoku University in Japan have used carbon nanotubes to develop a new light source that has a power consumption of 0.1 W for every hour of usage. This represents a significant drop from the consumption from today’s LEDs and builds on a technology that has already disrupted the display industry.

Electronics based on carbon, specifically carbon nanotubes, are increasingly popping up in technical developments and are already emerging as the successor to silicon for semi-conductor materials.

The device developed at Tohoki University is based on a phosphor screen and single-walled carbon nanotubes that function as electrodes in a diode structure. It obtains a brightness efficiency of 60 Lumen per Watt. The luminescence mechanism can be compared with the cathode ray tubes of old, with carbon nanotubes functioning as the cathode.

Once efficient manufacturing and fabrication of the lighting mechanism is developed, the researchers believe that their carbon nanotube lighting will provide a greener alternative to the LEDs currently used.

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