CE08 - Matériaux métalliques et inorganiques et procédés associés

Luminescent materials for broadband bright new light sources – Newlight

Submission summary

An LED-pumped luminescent concentrator (LC) is a parallelepiped-shaped luminescent material with LEDs on its large sides. After absorbing light from the LEDs, the material re-emits light into the LC which is guided to its edges. Concentration is achieved through total internal reflections. This leads to a luminance 10 to 20 times higher than that of the LEDs. This is an emerging field of research with a very high disruptive potential.

The aim of the NewLight project is to develop concentrators over a large part of the optical spectrum (visible SWIR-short-wavelength infrared- and MWIR-medium-wavelength infrared) with a systematic, multidisciplinary approach, combining materials and systems.

Inspired by solar concentrators, we will explore the concept of a "cascade concentrator": a first LED-pumped concentrator, called "primary", is used to pump a second concentrator, called "secondary". The materials are chosen so that the absorption and emission bands are matched, creating a cascade of wavelengths from the pumping LEDs to the emission of the secondary concentrator. Cascaded concentrators have the potential to emit an order of magnitude more light than current concentrators. The strategy of the NewLight project is to use well-known materials for the primary concentrators and to explore new materials for the secondary concentrators. New crystals will be developed for the visible and SWIR bands. New glasses will be developed for the SWIR and MWIR bands.
In parallel, the NewLight project faces technological challenges related to the applications: concentrator efficiency, cooling and coupling to an output optical fibre. By using the symmetries of the concentrator structure and the recycling of light in the material, the NewLight project has the keys to solve these problems.

The NewLight project is very ambitious, starting with new materials and ending with concentrator devices that are as close as possible to applications. This ambition is compatible with the duration of the project (48 months) thanks to the unique properties of LED-pumped concentrators: very low cost thanks to commercial LEDs and rapid development possible thanks to the simplicity of the architectures.
The project is organised in 4 tasks coordinated by a "management" task, in a spirit of strong iteration. Two "materials" tasks and two "systems" tasks are combined, with a multidisciplinary approach.

The proposed structures should allow to break luminance and power records for incoherent broad spectrum sources, setting up LCs as new reference sources. The NewLight project will open up new fields of application, with simple, reliable and robust solutions with a high potential impact on the photonics industry.
Potential applications include: metrology, micro-spectroscopy, active SWIR imaging, red-green-blue projection, inspection and control of objects on production lines or light treatments in dermatology.

Our strategy to maximize the impact of the NewLight project is built on the large experience of the consortium in the dissemination of scientific culture and in research valorization. The strategy includes patenting, scientific communication in large international conferences, publications in specialized and general open-access journals, and wide range dissemination to the general public. The goal is to raise the awareness of a large scientific community to the exceptional opportunities offered by luminescent concentrators, that the NewLight projet will contribute to reveal.

Project coordination

Francois BALEMBOIS (Laboratoire Charles Fabry)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LPL Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers
LCF Laboratoire Charles Fabry
IRCP Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris

Help of the ANR 568,683 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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