# Change of light wavelength

1. Apr 1, 2013

### Arian DP

In my research, I want to make a transparent lens where there will be a microstructure on its surface.
This lens will be used to change a wavelength of an LED lighting.
Would anyone explain a physics phenomen behind this?
Thank you.

2. Apr 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Do you have any reason to expect a wavelength shift?
There are multiple ways to do this, but a microstructure on a surface would be new to me.

3. Apr 1, 2013

### technician

Are you thinking of the thin films used to coat lenses to reduce reflections??

4. Apr 1, 2013

### Arian DP

@mfb : May be there is a relation to the changing of refraction index from lens (rarer medium)to the microstructure(denser medium) so that it can also change the wavelength of light.

@technician : Yes, I'd like to coat the lens using thin film(microstucture) on its surface, but the lens I used will be a TIR Lens so it can reflect the light source fully.

5. Apr 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

The wavelength in the lens is different, of course, but that is not a change of the wavelength with the usual meaning (= a change in the frequency, and a different wavelength in the same medium).

6. Apr 1, 2013

### sophiecentaur

A wavelength change will not affect the frequency - which is what affects the colour you see. Historically, it was wavelength that was measured but frequency is the quantity that does not change from medium to medium.

7. Apr 1, 2013

### Arian DP

@mfb: Does it mean the output wavelength of LED light will not change?

8. Apr 1, 2013

### Arian DP

@sophiecentaur: I also got some reference said that the frequency will be constant/not change. But the wavelength and the wave speed change from medium to other medium.

9. Apr 1, 2013

### sophiecentaur

Of course the wave speed is different in different media but, if you want a colour change, you have to change the frequency. The wavelength 'inside' your optical system is not relevant to the wavelength of the light that will emerge for you to see.
Are you trying to obtain a colour change? That will not be possible unless you use doppler shift with mirrors travelling at near light-speeds!

10. Apr 1, 2013

### Arian DP

@sophiecentaur: Yes, I want a color change but not a significant change. In example I want to change a normal blue to a blue sky. Is it still possible?

11. Apr 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Not with any change of the refractive index: this does not change the frequency ("color"). You need frequency doubling, higher harmonic generation, wavelength shifting materials or other fancy stuff.
It would be useful to see the planned application of that to be more specific. It might be sufficient to suppress some parts of the spectrum of the LED.

12. Apr 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

That is normally done in LED lighting by having a number of LED sources with different wavelength outputs, and varying the amplitude of the drive current to each LED to change the overall output color that people perceive. I'm not aware of a way to do this with either a single LED source, or a single source with some optical device/lens.

I'll see if I can find a reference to the multi-wavelength LED structure that is used for (some pretty dramatic) color control...

13. Apr 1, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

The quickest reference I could find was at wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp

14. Apr 1, 2013

### sophiecentaur

You can 'easily' produce a range of colours using three primary coloured light sources - just like the TV display screen you are looking at now. This doesn't (can't) involve 'changing' frequency, it just involved mixing appropriate proportions of primaries to get the desired subjective effect / match. You can use three sets of LEDs (Red Blue and Green) as a home construction project but doing it as well as possible involves a lot of high tech production, which isn't achievable on the kitchen table.
Actually, it is really good fun to set up three ordinary, low power, spotlights with coloured gels in front of them and feeding them from domestic light dimmers. You can produce a whole range of coloured lighting effects with the right levels of light from each. It's even better if you can get hold of three old slide projectors.