Fireflies' bumpy abdomens may lead to brighter LEDs

Scientists who evidently spend too much time with fireflies have managed to put all that bug-watching to good use: developing brighter LEDs. One problem with that tech is that a lot of the light gets reflected back into the device due to the way photons travel through LED materials, causing them to lose efficiency. But researchers from the University of Namur in Belgium noticed that the misshapen abdominal scales on fireflies act to prevent reflection, letting more light from the luminous insect's "lantern" shine out. Scientists in Canada took it a step further by doping standard gallium-nitride LEDs with a similar material, and found that light transmission increased by 55 percent. They claimed that such a process could be done to "nearly every commercially available LED," which could one day bring insect-inspired energy savings to commercial products.

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Fireflies' bumpy abdomens may lead to brighter LEDs