(Feb. 13, 2012) -- Researchers Gangadharan Ajith Kumar, Madhab Pokhrel and Dhiraj K. Sardar in the UTSA Laser and Biophotonics Laboratories have develop the world's most intense infrared-activated, light-emitting phosphor. The discovery will advance the underlying technology of LEDs, lasers and other electronic displays.
Photons or light emitting particles are the focus of the scientific discipline photonics. Phosphors are photons that emit colored light when excited with another color. The efficiency of phosphor light output depends on many material properties. While most phosphors excited by ultraviolet light are inefficient and lose a lot of thermal energy, excitation by infrared light makes phosphors more energy efficient and environmentally safe.
The trio created a unique phosphor that produces more intense light than any other infrared-activated phosphor on record. Kumar now is testing the discovery's application with an LED manufacturing company. Pokhrel, a UTSA Ph.D. student, is researching the material's potential to enhance silicon solar cell efficiency.
Recently, the researchers were honored by the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) with one of four Green Photonics awards. They accepted the award at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Antonio last month.
"When I heard UTSA's name along with Harvard, Caltech and other German researchers who received SPIE's Green Photonics Award, I was really excited," said Kumar. "It was exciting to see that our research was on that level and we were all on the same stage. We hope this attracts more students to UTSA who are interested in researching photonics."
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The society serves more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth.
The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy offers coursework in semiconductor technology, solid-state physics, theoretical physics, astrophysics, computer visualization, lasers and biophotonics, cosmology and relativity. Additionally, UTSA and the Space Science Division at Southwest Research Institute jointly offer a graduate degree in space physics, giving students firsthand experience in instrument and satellite development.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.