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Fireflies provide flash of inspiration for cheaper LED lamps

Published on Oct 30, 2012 9:38 AM

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - South Korean scientists have copied the structure of a firefly's underbelly to create what they say is an improved and cheaper light-emitting diode (LED) lens that they hope will one day be used in smartphones, televisions and other devices.

In a paper published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the scientists described how they were inspired by the firefly, a bright and efficient source of natural light.

"We made a new LED lens (copying) the nanostructure of the firefly lantern," said lead author Jeong Ki Hun, associate professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science of Technology's department of bio and brain engineering.

By copying the structure of the firefly's three-layered lower abdomen, Professor Jeong and colleagues managed to do away with an expensive component in existing LED lamps.

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