Researchers Uses Glass-ceramic to Create Greenhouse Lamps to Facilitate Plants’ Growth

How artificial lighting could provide full spectrum for plants has been an issue addressed by agri-tech experts. Apart from LEDs, a new study of ITMO University provide a new approach by creating light with ceramics.

Scientists from ITMO in collaboration with their colleagues from Tomsk Polytechnic University came up with an idea to create light sources from ceramics with the addition of chrome that deliver not only red but also infrared (IR) light to enhance growth of plants. The results were published in Optical Materials.

(Image: Anastasiia Babkina/ITMO University)

Growing vegetables, fruit and berries in huge greenhouses rather than in the open is becoming more and more common. In such facilities, plants are protected from hail, droughts and chill. Then again, farmers have to compensate for the lack of natural sunlight in such greenhouses.

To improve the wavelengths of horticulture light source, the research group used glass-ceramics as materials to produce light and added chrome at the production stage, giving the material a pink tone that allows it to produce red and IR light at the same time. There are two potential applications for the new material. The first is to mill it to get microparticles which can be used to produce a new type of light diodes. This offers great prospects, but the introduction of such a technology calls for a lot of time and money. Another option is to use it to create lampshades.

The researchers suggested that the material can be used as a filter to blue and green LED to obtain a wide-spectrum emission that will include the IR range.

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