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UTSA physicists honored by peers for advances in energy-efficient lighting

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(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.

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

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Events
Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p,m,; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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