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LighTimes: DOE Announces Project Selections for SSL R&D Funding

17 Jun 2014

June 17, 2014…The US. Department of Energy has announced the competitive selection of solid-state lighting (SSL) projects to receive funding, in response to the SSL funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0000973. These one- to two-year projects will focus on the areas of Core Technology Research, which involves the application of fundamental scientific concepts to SSL technology; and Product Development, which involves using the knowledge gained from basic or applied research to develop or improve commercially viable SSL materials, devices, or systems.
The US. Department of Energy announced the selection of nine solid-state lighting projects to receive funding totaling nearly $10.5 million. The Core Technology Research projects focus on developing or improving commercially viable SSL materials, devices, or systems. The funding leverages a cost-share contribution from each recipient, for a total public-private investment of more than $13.7 million.

This is the ninth round of DOE funding for SSL Core Technology Research and Product Development as part of the DOE’s initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through  cost reduction as well as product quality and performance improvements .The DOE noted that while none of the 2014 selections is aimed at US. manufacturing R&D, the DOE is still intends to fund SSL manufacturing improvements and innovations that enhance quality and consistency and reduce costs.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) received funding to develop an improved phosphor matrix to address the issue of localized phosphor heating through the use of materials that increase the thermal conductivity >5 times over standard matrix materials. The Carnegie Mellon researchers pointed out in their proposal that improved thermal control allows for higher drive current and lumen output in LEDs, reducing the price of light ($/klm) by as much as 50–60%.

Durham, North Carolina-based Cree Inc. received funding to develop a scalable and economical  LED fabrication process for ultra-compact warm-white LEDs. These cree LED modules will be deployed in Cree products ranging from bulbs to troffers.

Momentive Performance Materials Quartz, Inc. of Strongsville, Ohio, intends to use the funding to develop thermally conductive transparent encapsulates for next-generation LED architectures that allow higher drive current and therefore lumen output.

OLEDWorks, LLC of Rochester, New York, received funding for their project to develop a fabrication process to optimize low-cost OLED electrode structures and panel light extraction for the desired product performance

The DOE awarded funding to Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC to develop a high-voltag  light engine integrating a low-cost, high-power patterned sapphire substrate flip-chip (PSS-FC) architecture LEDs with optimized driver. Philips Lumileds reduce luminaire system cost through a reduction of the LED package cost, lower component count, reduced weight and size of the luminaire housing, and simplified assembly processes. Philips Lumileds also plans to improve luminaire efficacy with the PSS-FC architecture and the higher efficiency of the integrated LED-driver combination.

The DOE awarded funding to Philips Research North America, LLC of Briarcliff Manor, New York, to develop an energy efficient LED patient suite (patient room and bathroom) lighting system solution that meets all the visual and non-visual needs of patients, caregivers, and visitors. In addition to meeting expectation for visual and non-visual needs as well as patient health and well-being, the solution will meet policy and regulatory requirements.

Pixelligent Technologies, LLC of Baltimore, Maryland won funding to develop a novel internal light extraction (ILE) design of OLED lighting devices that improves the light extraction efficiency  by 70% without negatively impacting device voltage, efficacy, or angular color dependence. The innovative structure is based on proprietary sub-10 nm ZrO2 nanocrystals as a high refractive index additive for polymer systems.

Princeton University of Princeton, New Jersey received funding to develop a method that optimizes the outcoupling ITO-free white OLEDs on flexible substrates. The researchers intend to demonstrate that the various technological components integrated together can achieve >60% outcoupling efficiency, a full 3 times greater than a conventional glass/ITO structure.

University of California Los Angeles won funding to develop an integrated plastic substrate to replace the indium tin oxide transparent anode, glass substrate, internal and external light extraction structures for the fabrication of OLEDs with improved energy efficiency and reduced manufacture cost when production is scaled up. The project will focus on optimizing the structure that integrates the substrate to match the sheet resistance and surface smoothness of high-grade ITO/glass, but with a 200% enhancement of light extraction.