Addressing design issues when working with UVC LEDs: Page 4 of 4

November 19, 2015 //By Hari Venugopalan
Addressing design issues when working with UVC LEDs
Hari Venugopalan, Director of Global Product Management, Crystal IS considers the design issues likely to be faced when working with UVC LEDs.
Over the long-term, this heat decreases the useful life of the LED. Thermal management is extremely important when designing with UVC LEDs because of the greater proportion of energy converted to heat compared to longer wavelength LEDs. Proper thermal management keeps the junction temperature as low as is required for the given application and maintains the performance of the LED. In addition to passive and active cooling methods, the selected PCB can also result in better heat dissipation.

Figure 4 This figure shows the thermal pad temperature of FR4 and aluminum core PCBs without a heat sink (a) compared to the thermal pad temperature of an aluminum core PCB with and without a heat sink (b).

FR4 is one of the most commonly used PCB materials due to its relatively low cost, but it also has low thermal conductivity. In systems where the thermal load in the system is high, metal core PCBs, which have better thermal conductivity, are superior options. As heat dissipation needs increase, designers typically turn to increasing the PCB area and add heat sinks for superior thermal management. Designers can employ more active cooling techniques if further heat dissipation is required.
 
As the performance of UVC LEDs increases, designers are leveraging the benefits of design flexibility for spectroscopic instruments and disinfection reactors. The benefits of LEDs in these applications allows for more compact, efficient, and, quite often, more cost-effective designs. As this technology continues to develop, clever designers will discover more ways to leverage the benefits of UVC LEDs to address challenges in these markets.

References

    " The Case for UVC LEDs in Spectroscopic Instrumentation ," Crystal IS.
    " Optan SMDs for Biofilm and Biofouling Control ," Crystal IS.
    OPTAN UVC LEDs datasheets and product documentation

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