DOE Awards $10.5 Million for SSL Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected nine projects for solid-state lighting (SSL), in response to the SSL R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001364.  The 18- to 24-month Core Technology Research projects will focus on the application of fundamental scientific concepts to SSL technology. One focus of the-the projects will be on Product Development using the knowledge gained from basic or applied research to create or improve commercially viable SSL materials, devices, or systems. Another project focus is on Manufacturing Research and Development to accelerate SSL technology adoption through manufacturing innovations and improvements that reduce costs and enhance quality and consistency. Total DOE funding for the nine projects is over $10.5 million.The projects also leverage a cost-share contribution from each recipient, for a total public-private investment of over $13.5 million.

This funding comes from the eleventh round of DOE investments in SSL core technology research and product development. The DOE did not select any manufacturing projects in this round. These projects are part of DOE’s initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in costs while maintaining product quality and performance. The selections are outlined below (final details are subject to negotiations):

DOE Selections for SSL R&D Funding

  • Cree of Durham North Carolina was awarded 1,499,986 incorporate a high-efficacy LED light engine into a demonstration luminaire. The prototype luminaire will feature concurrent advancements in LED light engines, sensors, and optics. The integrated luminaire will be highly efficient and provide additional features such as spectral tuning.Cree will share $499,996 of the project’s cost.
  • GE Global Research of Niskayuna, New York USA, was awarded 1,177,064 in funding and will share $392,355 in costs for developing a highly integrated modular LED luminaire.
The project’s aim is to build a scalable, efficient, modular luminaire that integrates the driver, optics, and package in a flexible integration platform. The targeted integration platform allows for simplified manufacturing to meet customized performance specifications.
  • Iowa State University of Ames, Iowa, was awarded $1,318,938 in DOE funding to increase light extraction from low-cost white OLEDs (WOLEDs) fabricated on novel patterned substrates.

This project hopes to demonstrate of increasing the outcoupling of simple white OLEDs while maintaining a high color rendering index. Iowa State researchers plan to do this by disrupting the internal waveguiding with an innovative corrugation pattern. Iowa State University will share $331,598 of the project’s cost.
  • Lumenari, Inc. based in Lexington, Kentucky USA, was also awarded DOE funding to develop a narrow bandwidth red phosphor that will improve phosphor-converted LED efficacy up to 28%. Lumenari intends to employ a combination of experimental and computational techniques to develop a novel host material for the selected emitter ion. The DOE award for Lumenari’s project is $1,499,089. Lumenari will share $374,773 of the cost.
  • Lumileds, a Philips owned company, based in San Jose, California USA won DOE funding to develop a high-powered LED emitter using a patterned sapphire substrate with a flip-chip architecture.
    The company plans to create the LED that features die developments including novel contact design, phosphors with reduced bandwidth, and new optical materials for light extraction from the die.
The DOE will provide $1,498,228 for the project, and Lumileds will share $499,410 of the cost.
  • North Carolina State University also received funding from the latest in DOE R&D funding round.
    Researchers at North Carolina State University will develop OLEDs fabricated on low-cost, high index corrugated substrates with a semi-random periodicity. The researchers intend to employ the low-cost high index corrugated substrates with a semi-random periodicity to increase extraction efficiency across the entire visible spectrum, due to the extraction of the thin-film-guided and surface-plasmon modes.
The DOE awarded the University $583,953 for the project. The University will share $157,000 of the cost.
  • Pennsylvania State University of State College, Pennsylvania won funding to improve OLED panel reliability by understanding, predicting, and mitigating catastrophic shorts.The project aims to develop new, more-informative panel diagnostics, a modeling capability to predict mean time to failure, and new anti-shorting strategies that address the root cause of the problem. The DOE share for the project is $1,087,981. Penn State’s cost share is $271,996.
  • The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, won research funding to improve the efficiency of white OLED devices. The researchers plan to eliminate plasmon Losses in high-efficiency white OLED devices for Lighting Applications.
The University hopes to accomplish this improved efficiency through the construction of nanoscale texturing beneath the anode outside the active region. In addition, the researchers plan to fabricate sub-anode gratings along with microlens arrays, and top emitting structures with a sub-anode grid coupled with a reflective mirror at the base.
The DOE funding share for the project is $900,000. The University of Michigan will share $225,269 of the cost.
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