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Concept: Black light


Fluorescence using ultraviolet (UV) light has seen increased use as a tool in paleontology over the last decade. Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a next generation technique that is emerging as a way to fluoresce paleontological specimens that remain dark under typical UV. A laser’s ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce. Presented here are five paleontological case histories that illustrate the technique across a broad range of specimens and scales. Novel uses such as back-lighting opaque specimens to reveal detail and detection of specimens completely obscured by matrix are highlighted in these examples. The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers. This technology has the potential to automate multiple aspects of paleontology, including preparation and sorting of microfossils. This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology’s preparatory bottleneck.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Biology, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Laser, Fluorescent lamp, Black light


Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin is important for health. Those with fat malabsorption disorders malabsorb vitamin D and thus must rely on cutaneous production of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is generated secondary to exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation (whether from the sun or from an artificial source). Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have been developed to emit ultraviolet radiation. Little is known about the efficiency of UVB emitting LEDs tuned to different wavelengths for producing vitamin D3 in human skin. Ampoules containing 7-dehydrocholesterol were exposed to a LED that emitted a peak wavelength at 293, 295, 298 or 305 nm to determine their efficiency to produce previtamin D3. The 293 nm LED was best suited for evaluating its effectiveness for producing vitamin D in human skin due to the shorter exposure time. This LED was found to be 2.4 times more efficient in producing vitamin D3 in human skin than the sun in less than 1/60(th) the time. This has significant health implications for medical device development in the future that can be used for providing vitamin D supplementation to patients with fat malabsorption syndromes as well as patients with other metabolic abnormalities including patients with chronic kidney disease.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Ultraviolet, Sun, Electromagnetic spectrum, Sunlight, Sunscreen, Infrared, Black light


GaN-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been widely accepted as highly efficient solid-state light sources capable of replacing conventional incandescent and fluorescent lamps. However, their applications are limited to small devices because their fabrication process is expensive as it involves epitaxial growth of GaN by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on single crystalline sapphire wafers. If a low-cost epitaxial growth process such as sputtering on a metal foil can be used, it will be possible to fabricate large-area and flexible GaN-based light-emitting displays. Here we report preparation of GaN films on nearly lattice-matched flexible Hf foils using pulsed sputtering deposition (PSD) and demonstrate feasibility of fabricating full-color GaN-based LEDs. It was found that introduction of low-temperature (LT) grown layers suppressed the interfacial reaction between GaN and Hf, allowing the growth of high-quality GaN films on Hf foils. We fabricated blue, green, and red LEDs on Hf foils and confirmed their normal operation. The present results indicate that GaN films on Hf foils have potential applications in fabrication of future large-area flexible GaN-based optoelectronics.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Chemical vapor deposition, Wafer, Light-emitting diode, Semiconductor device fabrication, Epitaxy, Gallium nitride, Black light


A 2010 study exposed Staphylococcus aureus to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thermal heating from pulsed xenon flash lamps. The results suggested that disinfection could be caused not only by photochemical changes from UV radiation, but also by photophysical stress damage caused by the disturbance from incoming pulses. The study called for more research in this area. The recent advances in light-emitting diode (LED) technology include the development of LEDs that emit in narrow bands in the ultraviolet-C (UV-C) range (100-280 nm), which is highly effective for UV disinfection of organisms. Further, LEDs would use less power, and allow more flexibility than other sources of UV energy in that the user may select various pulse repetition frequencies (PRFs), pulse irradiances, pulse widths, duty cycles and types of waveform output (e.g. square waves, sine waves, triangular waves, etc.). Our study exposed Escherichia coli samples to square pulses of 272 nm radiation at various PRFs and duty cycles. A statistically significant correlation was found between E. coli’s disinfection sensitivity and these parameters. Although our sample size was small, these results show promise and are worthy of further investigation. Comparisons are also made with pulsed disinfection by LEDs emitting at 365 nm, and pulsed disinfection by xenon flash lamps.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Optical fiber, Light-emitting diode, Phosphor, Diode, Infrared, Black light, Square wave


Ultraviolet (UV) B irradiation may provide a safe and effective method to treat vitamin D deficiency. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a novel Sperti D/UV-Fluorescent lamp in converting 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to previtamin D(3) in vitro and in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) [25(OH)D(3) ] in healthy adults.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Vitamin D, Cancer, Ultraviolet, Fluorescent lamp, Human skin color, Sunscreen, Black light


A new technique for the detection of explosives has been developed based on fluorescence quenching of pyrene on paper-based analytical devices (μPADs). Wax barriers were generated (150 °C, 5 min) using ten different colours. Magenta was found as the most suitable wax colour for the generation of the hydrophobic barriers with a nominal width of 120 μm resulting in fully functioning hydrophobic barriers. One microliter of 0.5 mg mL(-1) pyrene dissolved in an 80 : 20 methanol-water solution was deposited on the hydrophobic circle (5 mm diameter) to produce the active microchip device. Under ultra-violet (UV) illumination, ten different organic explosives were detected using the μPAD, with limits of detection ranging from 100-600 ppm. A prototype of a portable battery operated instrument using a 3 W power UV light-emitting-diode (LED) (365 nm) and a photodiode sensor was also built and evaluated for the successful automatic detection of explosives and potential application for field-based screening.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Color, Fluorescent lamp, Diode, Transducer, Infrared, Black light


Concerns about the safety of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) applications on human beings have been an issue at least since the introduction of this technology for practical use in the 1930s. The resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States in the mid-1980s led to a revival of interest in UV technology, a focus that had almost disappeared because alternate means of controlling TB had inaccurately been deemed successful. These failures in TB control led to a revival of UVGI use. And with that revival grew necessary and appropriate concerns about attempts to eliminate human over-exposure. For all those working in the field of UVGI, safety issues must be a concern, because when UVGI fixtures are placed improperly, or precautions ignored, room occupants are placed at risk of photokeratoconjunctivitis and photodermatitis. If safety is so prominent a concern, why do incidents of UV side-effects continue to occur? See Murphy’s Law. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Photochemistry and Photobiology © 2012 The American Society of Photobiology.

Concepts: Human, Ultraviolet, United States, Radiobiology, Religion, Sunburn, Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, Black light


The objective of the present study is to determine the effect of light source on enhancement of shoot multiplication, phytochemicals, as well as, antioxidant enzyme activities of in vitro cultures of date palm cv. Alshakr. In vitro-grown buds were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium and incubated under a conventional white fluorescent light (control), and combinations of red + blue light emitting diode (18:2) (CRB-LED). Results revealed that the treatment of CRB-LED showed a significant increase in the number of shoots compared with the white florescent light. Total soluble carbohydrate “TSCH” (7.10 mg g(-1) DW.), starch (1.63 mg g(-1) DW.) and free amino acids (2.90 mg g(-1) DW.) were significantly higher in CRB-LED (p < 0.05). Additionally, CRB-LED induced a higher peroxidase activity (25.50 U ml(-1)) compared with the white fluorescent light treatment (19.74 U ml(-1)) as control treatment. Potassium, magnesium and sodium contents in (3.62, 13.99 and 2.76 mg g(-1) DW.) were increased in in vitro shoots under CRB-LED treatment in comparison with fluorescent light (p < 0.05). Protein profile showed the appearance of newly bands with the molecular weight of 38 and 60 kDa at the treatment CRB-LED compared with control treatment. Our results demonstrate the positive effects of CRB-LED light during the course of date palm tissue cultures.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Amino acid, Fluorescent lamp, Light-emitting diode, Diode, Light therapy, Phoenix, Black light


The photochemical and electrochemical investigations of commercially available, safe, and cheap fluorescent brighteners, namely, triazinylstilbene (commercial name: fluorescent brightener 28) and 2,5-bis(5-tert-butyl-benzoxazol-2-yl)thiophene, as well as their original use as photoinitiators of polymerization upon light emitting diode (LED) irradiation are reported. Remarkably, their excellent near-UV-visible absorption properties combined with outstanding fluorescent properties allow them to act as high-performance photoinitiators when used in combination with diaryliodonium salt. These two-component photoinitiating systems can be employed for free radical polymerizations of acrylate. In addition, this brightener-initiated photopolymerization is able to overcome oxygen inhibition even upon irradiation with low LED light intensity. The underlying photochemical mechanisms are investigated by electron-spin resonance-spin trapping, fluorescence, cyclic voltammetry, and steady-state photolysis techniques.

Concepts: Light, Light-emitting diode, Lighting, Diode, LEd, Radical polymerization, Living polymerization, Black light


Purpose New light sources including light emitting diodes (LEDs) have elicited questions about retinal damage, including the blue-light hazard. Some organizations have recommended avoiding using LEDs with correlated color temperatures (CCTs) exceeding 3000 K, since they tend to produce greater short-wavelength energy. This paper provides quantitative comparisons among light sources and use cases as they affect blue-light hazard. Methods The spectral radiant power characteristics of incandescent, fluorescent, LED and daylight sources were evaluated in terms of blue-light hazard using standard procedures for phakic, aphakic and pseudophakic eyes. Results Under most use cases, LEDs do not exhibit greater risk for blue-light hazard than other sources (e.g., incandescent). Because they generally produce little-to-no ultraviolet energy, LEDs often present less risk to aphakic eyes. Conclusions LEDs present no special concerns for blue-light hazard over some other common sources in typical use cases because photophobic responses limit exposure to bright sources. Where photophobic responses might not occur (e.g., eye surgery patients or premature infants) or where individuals suppress these responses (e.g., stage actors), caution is necessary. Evidence remains inconsistent regarding the risk of human retinal damage from long-term exposures to light insufficient to reach acute blue-light hazard thresholds.

Concepts: Energy, Light, Sunlight, Light-emitting diode, Lighting, LEd, LED lamp, Black light