Technology

Improved ceramics will help to accelerate the growth of plants

Улучшенная стеклокерамика поможет ускорить рост растений

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Many saw in the Windows of houses a bright pink glow is a special lamp used by the owners indoor plants for their flowers did not lack in light. Similar lamps are used and the farmers, placing them in the greenhouses. However, experts in the field of svetosily argue that these lamps do not give all plants need light. Scientists of ITMO University together with colleagues from Tomsk Polytechnic University invited to create lamps by using the glass ceramics with the addition of chrome — in the light of these lamps on the leaves will get not only red, but also infrared light, which has positive impact on growth.

Increasingly, vegetables, fruits, berries and flowers are grown, not in open ground and in greenhouses, is more like the factory hangars. Here the plants are not afraid nor hail, nor drought, nor frost. However, farmers using greenhouses, it is necessary to compensate for the lack of natural sunlight. High-tech agricultural production is used for this purpose LEDs. For lighting, use pink light, which is obtained by the simultaneous use of blue and red LEDs.

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“Scientists have found that this light is not optimal — says the assistant of the faculty of Photonics and Optoinformatics, ITMO University, Anastasia Babkina, — the fact that the red diode shines in the area of about 650 nanometers — the range have a narrow, almost like a laser. Better plants absorb red and infrared light not at the wavelength of 650 nm, and further, which is bad seen by man. It turns out that we Shine on the plants is convenient for a person a light, but not optimal for the plants.”

Thus, it is necessary to find a material that could be used in led lamps so that they shone in the broader spectrum, including the infrared range. This task took to solve a group of scientists which included experts of the ITMO University and Tomsk state Polytechnic University. Classic red LEDs use materials based on compounds with manganese and europium. That is microscopic crystals of the chemical element and cause the diode to emit at a wavelength of about 650 nanometers, making the color red, and in connection with blue diode pink.

“We decided to take another crystal, and glass ceramics, — says Babkin, head of the research group, is an intermediate material between the glass and the crystal. What is the difference of the crystals we grow in a special way, glass we synthesize cooking method, and it can produce a lot and fast and give it in absolutely any form. Disadvantage of glass is that it is fragile. Therefore, we take the glass and slowly begin to crystallize, that it does not lose transparency. The result is a glass with inside a microscopic crystals, invisible to the eye. The strength of the material increases, and the luminescent properties are improved. Such material is called glass ceramics”. Work is performed under the grant of the RSF, the results of work of scientists published in the journal Optical Materials.

At the stage of production in the glass-ceramic is added chrome it gives the material a pinkish hue, which allows you to emit both red and infrared light simultaneously. The resulting material can potentially be used in two different ways. First — it is possible to grind so that it will fragments the size of microcrystallite. They are useful in the production of a new type of LEDs. This opens up new perspectives, but implementing such technology requires a lot of money and time. However, there is an alternative — make the resulting glass shades.

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“We can take green and blue LEDs and just use as filters our glass-ceramic to receive radiation in a broad spectrum, including the infrared region,” concludes Babkina.

Material provided by press service of the ITMO

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