Department of Energy illuminates $21 million on advanced lighting research

The US Department of Energy today said it would dole out almost $21 million for a total of 13 projects aimed at advancing solid-state lighting (SSL) research and product development. 

The agency said it wants to accelerate solid-state lighting technology from the lab to the marketplace because it has the potential to more than double the efficiency of lighting systems, significantly reduce its carbon footprint and transform the environment  

SSL lighting is an advanced technology that creates light with considerably less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lamps, allowing for increased energy efficiency. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, SSL uses a semi-conducting material to convert electricity directly into light, which maximizes the light’s energy efficiency, the DOE said in a release. Solid-state lighting encompasses a variety of light-producing semi-conductor devices, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

Once used only for indicator lights to illuminate the numbers on digital clocks and light up watches, LEDs are now found in a variety of applications including brake lights, flashlights, traffic signals, and more recently, streetlights. OLED technology is more commonly used commercially, such as in small screens for mobile phones, portable digital music players, digital cameras, and now televisions.

The companies receiving money and their projects are listed below (from DOE) :  

Add-Vision Inc. (Scotts Valley, CA): Low-Cost, High Efficiency Polymer OLEDs Based on Stable p-i-n Device Architecture. This project seeks to develop a polymer OLED (P-OLED) lamp technology using advanced material synthesis and a modified device architecture to enable large-scale manufacturing of robust P-OLED lamps.

Team Members: University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California, Santa Cruz

Project Value: $ 2,010,076

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,567,858 

Crystal IS, Inc. (Green Island, NY): Gallium nitride (GaN) -ready Aluminum Nitride Substrates for Cost-effective, Very Low Dislocation Density III-nitride LEDs.  This project seeks to develop GaN-ready substrates with defect densities below 105/cm-2.  This GaN ready substrate will then be tested by growing high efficiency blue LEDs.

Team Member: Philip Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC

Project Value: $ 1,286,680

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,029,343 

Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA): Fundamental Studies of Higher Efficiency III-N LEDs for High-Efficiency High-Power Solid-State Lighting.  This project seeks to understand  the impact of strain, defects, polarization, and Stokes loss in relation to unique device structures upon the internal quantum efficiency of LEDs and to employ this understanding in the design and growth of high-efficiency LEDs capable of highly-reliable, high-current, high-power operation.

Team Member: Luminus Devices

Project Value: $ 2,241,097Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,508,110 

Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA): Enhancements of Radiative Efficiency with Staggered Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) Quantum Well Light Emitting Diodes. This project seeks to solve the problem of low radiative efficiency in green LEDs, which is caused by a reduced wavefunction overlap from the existence of polarization field inside the quantum well.

Project Value: $ 598,899

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 479,119 

PhosphorTech Corporation (Lithia Springs, GA): High Extraction Luminescent Materials for SSL. This project seeks to develop highly efficient phosphors for high brightness LEDs.  The proposed phosphors have broad and size-tunable absorption bands, size and impurity tuned emission bands, size-driven elimination of scattering effects, and a distinct separation between absorption and emission bands.

Project Value: $ 1,629,614

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,254,702 

DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA): Charge Balance in Blue Electrophosphorescent Devices. This project seeks to develop new organic phosphine oxide electron transporting/hole blocking materials in combination with ambipolar phosphine oxide host materials for achieving charge balanced blue phosphorescent OLED system, a necessary component of white OLEDs.

Project Value: $ 1,783,000 

DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM): Novel Defect Spectroscopy of InGaN Materials for Improved Green LEDs. This project seeks to develop a novel defect spectroscopy platform centered around deep level optical spectroscopy (DLOS) capable of interrogating deep levels throughout the InGaN band gap.

Project Value: $ 1,340,000 

Arkema Inc. (King of Prussia, PA): Application of Developed Atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) Transparent Conducting Oxides and Undercoat Technologies for Economical OLED Lighting. This project seeks to develop a commercially viable process for an OLED substrate, which would consist of the actual substrate of soda lime glass, a barrier undercoat, and a transparent conducting oxide.

Team Member: Philips Lighting

Project Value: $ 2,626,632Estimated

DOE contribution: up to $ 2,101,305 

Cree, Inc. (Goleta, CA): Efficient White SSL Component for General Illumination. This project seeks to develop a high-efficiency, low-cost LED component for solid-state illumination applications that is capable of replacing standard, halogen, fluorescent and metal halide lamps based on the SSL system efficiency and life time cost savings.

Project Value: $ 2,558,959

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,995,988 

General Electric (Niskayuna, NY): Affordable High-Efficiency Solid-State Replacement Down-Light Luminaries with Novel Cooling.  This project seeks to develop an illumination quality SSL luminaire based on LED cooling using synthetic jets combined with optimized system packaging and electronics.

Team Members: GE Lumination; University of Maryland

Project Value: $ 2,886,040

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 2,164,530 

Osram Sylvania Development Inc. (Danvers, MA): High–Quality, Down Lighting Luminaire with 73% Overall System Efficiency. This project seeks to develop a highly efficient integrated down lighting luminaire that minimizes thermal, optical and electronic losses and will achieve a luminous steady state output of 1300lm with a high quality of light.

Project Value: $ 1,092,038

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 873,525 

Philips Lumileds Lighting, LLC (San Jose, CA): 135 LPW 1050 Lm Warm White LED for illumination. This project seeks to develop pre-production prototypes of a warm white LED that has efficiency of 135LPW while at the same time generating 1050lm of warm white light in the Correlated Color Temperature range between 2800K and 3500K with a Color Rendering Index of greater than 90.

Project Value: $ 5,306,000

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 2,653,000 

Universal Display Corporation (Ewing, NJ): Development of High Efficacy, Low-Cost Phosphorescent OLED Lighting Luminaire. This project seeks to develop high efficiency OLED lighting luminaires as part of an integrated ceiling illumination system.

Team Members: Armstrong World Industries; University of Michigan; University of Southern California

Project Value: $ 2,662,489

Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,905,467  

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