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DOE Invests $20.6 Million in Solid-State Lighting

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that DOE will provide up to $20.6 million for a total of 13 projects aimed at advancing solid-state lighting (SSL) research and product development. Combined with industry cost share, investment in these projects will total $28 million. SSL lighting is an advanced technology that creates light with considerably less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lamps, allowing for increased energy efficiency. These projects are part of DOE’s national strategy to accelerate SSL advancements from the laboratory to marketplace to help meet the rapidly growing demand for energy.

“The Department is eager to advance and accelerate research and development in this cutting-edge technology because solid-state lighting has the potential to more than double the efficiency of lighting systems, significantly reduce our carbon footprint and transform the built environment,” DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said. “Increasing energy efficiency across all sectors is a critical component of the President’s comprehensive strategy to commercialize and deploy advanced technologies to meet our future energy needs in a way that encourages economic growth, enhances energy security and addresses the serious challenge of global climate change.”

Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, SSL uses a semi-conducting material to convert electricity directly into light, which maximizes the light’s energy efficiency. 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 specialty 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.

These projects continue DOE’s public/private partnerships on activities that will advance state-of-the-art SSL used for general lighting applications. In addition to R&D support, DOE provides national leadership and support for the development of ENERGY STAR® criteria for SSL products, technology procurement and demonstrations, commercial product testing, buyer/user guidance, design competitions, and standards development.

Selection of these projects represents the fourth round in a series of DOE funding opportunities seeking to examine high-priority research and development (R&D) activities that will advance the state-of-the-art SSL used for general illumination applications. Five of the projects were selected in response to DOE’s Core Technology Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued in May 2007, and two projects were selected in response to DOE’s National Laboratory Call for Core Technology Research. These seven projects are expected to fill key technology gaps, provide enabling knowledge or data, and represent a significant advancement in the SSL technology base. The total value of these projects is $10.8 million, with performers of cooperative agreements providing 20 percent of total project costs.

The remaining six projects were selected in response to DOE’s Product Development FOA, also issued in May 2007, with a total value of $17.1 million and an average of 32 percent investment from industry. These selections focus on the development and improvement of commercially viable materials, devices, or systems.

The SSL research and product development selections announced today include:


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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 36 months

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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 24 months

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: $ 2,241,097
Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 1,508,110
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 36 months

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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 36 months

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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 36 months

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
Duration: 36 months

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
Duration: 36 months


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: $ 2,626,632
Estimated DOE contribution: up to $ 2,101,305
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 24 months

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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 24 months

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
Applicant cost share: 25%
Duration: 24 months

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
Applicant cost share: 20%
Duration: 24 months

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
Applicant cost share: 50%
Duration: 36 months

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
Applicant cost share: 28%
Duration: 24 months

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