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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Low-cost LED Long term applications:

Dr J D Bapat

Parallel research is also being carried out into how GaN lights could mimic sunlight to help 3million people in the UK with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Ultraviolet rays made from GaN lighting could also aid water purification and disease control in developing countries, identify the spread of cancer tumours and help fight hospital ‘super bugs’.

• Cancer surgery: Currently, it is very difficult to detect exactly where a tumour ends. As a result, patients undergoing cancer surgery have to be kept under anaesthetic while cells are taken away for laboratory tests to see whether or not they are healthy. This may need to happen several times during an operation, prolonging the procedure extensively. But in the future, patients could be given harmless drugs that attach to cancer cells, which can be distinguished when a blue GaN LED is shone on them. The tumour’s edge will be revealed, quickly and unmistakably, to the surgeon.

• Water purification: GaN may revolutionise drinking water purification in developing countries. If aluminium is added to GaN then deep ultra-violet light can be produced and this kills all viruses and bacteria, so fitting such a GaN LED to the inside of a water pipe will instantly eradicate diseases, as well as killing mosquito larvae and other harmful organisms.

• Hospital-acquired infections: Shining a ultra-violet GaN torch beam could kill viruses and bacteria, boosting the fight against MRSA and C Difficile. Simply shining a GaN torch at a hospital wall or trolley, for example, could kill any ‘superbugs’ lurking there.

Deployed on a large scale, LEDs have the potential to tremendously reduce pollution, save energy, save financial resources and add new and unprecedented functionalities to photonic devices. These factors make photonics what could be termed a benevolent tsunami, an irresistible wave, a solution to many global challenges currently faced by humanity and will be facing even more in the years to come. It will open up a new chapter in photonics: Smart lighting sources that are controllable, tunable, intelligent, and communicative.


(1) Schubert E. F. and Kim J. K. "Transcending the Replacement Paradigm of Solid-State Lighting", Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 6, December 22, 2008

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Concil (EPSRC), UK, press release 29 Jan 2009

(3) Science Daily, December 20, 2008

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