Miami University

Instrumentation Laboratory Project Page

Project: Wide Timing Range UV LED Driver

Department: Chemistry / Biochemistry

Primary Investigator: Dr. Gil Pacey / Dr. Wolfgang Spendel

Purpose: The pulsed UV diode light source built in the IL enables us to develop new functional nanotechnology-based interfaces.

Unique nanotechnology properties occur over a size range of 2 to 500 nm (nanometers). Although many nanomaterials have been synthesized, their application has been a challenge.

To interrogate nanostructure thin films, we can now use time modulation. We are developing thin films, which change optical emission or electrical conductivity in the presence of UV light. Pulsing thin films with UV light will enhance both sensor analyte sensitivity and selectivity.

Surfactant, polymer, and nanoparticle mixtures are capable of self-organizing into complex functional nanostructures. These structures are phase sensitive and depend on chemical composition and temperature. A pulsed UV diode source will enable us to fix the structure using radical polymerization chemistry. Since this chemistry will occur at an interface in thin films of less than 500 nm thick, it is critical to control the energy within the film during synthesis. UV provides the energy necessary to start radical reactions. Pulsing UV diodes lets us fix the film structure while not heating the film sufficiently to destroy the structure we are attempting to capture. 

IL Comment: User is studying processes which are affected by UV light, but the speed of the processes is unknown.  This generated the requirement for the very wide range of timing from 2 microseconds to 100 seconds.  This was implemented with standard CMOS logic circuits.  The UV LEDs are quite expensive so the driver uses current regulation to protect them.  It has several triggering and timing modes to provide versatility for the researchers.

Cost to researcher: $350.87

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