In the last century was the invention of light bulb filament, and in the thirties of this century - a series of neon fluorescent lamps, the impression, thus the needs of humanity in the sources of artificial lighting are satisfied with a good long time. But everyone knows that the ideal "final" resolution of the technique is as rare as the sinless people, so to achieved - and the advantages and disadvantages - adjust, then get used to and begin to perceive all this for granted.
Even in 1923, our countryman OV Losev, conducting radio research, noticed a bluish glow emitted by some semiconductor detectors. In this case the heating element design was not, are born inside the silicon carbide crystal is due to the unknown time electronic transformations. However, the intensity of radiation was so insignificant that the scientific community is actually "not see" it, at least in a figurative sense. In electronics in those days were much any importance.
Only forty years later, seriously addressed the problem of the semiconductor world. " And in the mid-sixties there were LEDs - tiny plastic fireflies red, yellow, greenish glow. Ideal detectors of "on-off", they immediately caught the fancy of designers of radio and soon lit on the front of radios, tape recorders, televisions, computers, as well as refrigerators, washing machines, technological units. Already in the mid-seventies, the world production of LEDs overstepped billion mark, and now - dvadtsatipyatimilliardnuyu. But the problem of lighting all this had nothing to do.
After the breakthrough occur weekdays, during the "small cases", which sometimes prove to be not quite so and small. Research of Academician Jaures Alferov and some foreign scholars have shown that if the finest produce semiconductor structure with alternately varying properties, it is possible to accumulate electrons in a strictly defined areas and thereby improve the efficiency of converting electrical energy into light. More - more. When first seen, and even microscopic, but the crystal, they soon have to go through the individual atoms. Flashed intricate concepts such as "quantum well", "superlattice", "Two-dimensional liquid ... Physicists once again learned about semiconductors, "almost all", and technologists learn how to do more than "all".
Sooner or later, "the period of primitive accumulation" is completed - in the early nineties, a little known Japanese firm Nure threw LEDs on the market is ten times brighter than all their predecessors. And this was all the colors, which had previously lacked: lush-green, blue, purple, white, finally. Semiconductor palette gleamed with all the colors of the rainbow. LEDs "came" from the premises on the street without fear, as before, the solar flare. In a short time semiconductor lights subdued center of Moscow (they are easily recognizable by their purity and homogeneity of the glow) and went to the cities and villages of Russia.
Of course, the traffic light - this is not lighting, but since 1998 the Americans from Hewlett Packard began producing light-emitting diodes, suitable for lighting the car. Their light output is better than incandescent lamps, and resource improvement is far from exhausted. Semiconductor light-emitting diodes determines the essence of the new and unique advantages. First, it is very small dimensions, strength, ability to light up the voltage of only a few volts, practically unlimited durability. And besides, the brightness of the emission of any very pure color, simple regulation of luminescence. LED bulbs can be embedded in any, even remote, locations, they are absolutely safe, they do not need bullets for screwing, soldered - and forever.
While LEDs are not threatened to incandescent lamps in our homes. But it is very likely that in the near future it will happen. And then our charges for electricity will be just symbolic. And the designers of our future homes will have an excellent tool for the realization of their creative imagination, pity, though, seem to wither away crystal chandeliers, this symbol of strength and warmth of family ties.
Yury Nosov, professor, doctor of technical sciences.
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