Neon – Bright signs for the future


Deriving from the Greek neos, meaning ‘new one’, neon was first discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay. Decades later the French engineer and chemist, George Claude, discovered that applying an electric charge caused a sealed neon tube to glow.

This discovery was subsequently patented in 1915 and is still used today.

However, as Praxair states, there are a growing gamut of new applications: “Commonly known as a fill gas for colourful neon signs in outdoor advertising displays, neon’s other uses include plasma TVs and several laser applications including medical and semiconductor chip manufacturing.”

Neon is classified as a rare or speciality gas as it constitutes 0.018% volume of dry air. Although present in minerals and abundant in the cosmos, neon is commercially sourced via the cryogenic liquefaction and fractional distillation of air.

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.

Please wait...