LED technology development offers an opportunity for creating alternative light sources that are more energy efficient and longer lasting than conventional lighting. Among applications such as indicator lights, turn signals and backlighting for screens, significant energy savings occur when LED technology is used for in-home lighting or agricultural indoor plant growth. Phosphor chemistry and composition largely determine the effectiveness, light quality and stability of LEDs. Therefore, the development of new phosphors required for the next generation of high efficiency LED lighting requires a unique approach in the materials design. Group for Optical Materials and Spectroscopy – OMAS develops novel rare-earth and transition metal doped phosphors based on oxide, oxifluoride, fluoride, titanate, vanadate, niobate, phosphate, molibdate, zirconate, hafnate, aluminate, stanate and silicate materials for phosphor-converted blue and UV-excited LEDs that can be used for in-home lighting and agricultural indoor plant growth. The characterization of phosphors involves structural and morphological properties as well as advanced optical spectroscopy. Also, using computational chemistry to predict vibrational properties and electronic structure of potential phosphor compounds, high-efficiency new materials can be identified to guide experimental efforts. Fundamental physical and chemical understanding allows determining the best chemical formulations and structures resulting in the highest quality phosphors.
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