Bringing Incandescents Back?


Small filaments

It may not be over for the incandescent just yet.

A professor at Texas A & M University, Yue Kuo, and his former phd student, Chi-Chou Lin, have been working on a Solid State Device that works just like an incandescent lamp.

An incandescent light emits light by heating up the inside filament so much that it glows and therefore emits light. The device does this but with filaments between 20 to 150 nanometers in diameter.

Kuo has called this a Solid State Incandescent LED where the D stands for device not diode. Kuo said: "In simple words, it is the Solid State version of Edison's incandescent lightbulb."

Kuo and Lin started work on this device in 2011 and believe it could be a cheap alternative to LEDs as they are made with easily accessible materials and basic fabrication techniques.

One of the current problems with the device is efficiency despite it lasting 7,000 hours. When measuring the light they found that less than 1% of electricity was converted into light. Kuo does believe that the device will become more efficient than LEDs but is unsure as to whether it will reach the level of LEDs. Before the device even stands a chance to rival LEDs (if it can) more work has to be done.

Kuo said: "Since [the device] is a brand new device, there are many unknowns."

An engineering professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, Michael Shur, said: "I think it's a very interesting, I would even say, a brilliant idea. Potentially it could be very cheap, it could be very robust and it could cover a huge area. This is the technology of the future, in my opinion."

Image belongs to IEEE Spectrum.