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14 February 2008


DOE awards fourth-round funding for SSL development

Following last May’s fourth-round Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Core Technology Research and Product Development Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), on behalf of the US Department of Energy (DOE) the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has now awarded a total of up to $20.6m ($27.8m when combined with industry cost share) for 13 projects.

Five projects have been selected in response to the Core Technology part of the FOA plus two in response to the National Laboratory Call for Core Technology Research, to a total value of $10.8m (with participants in cooperative agreements providing 20% as cost-share). The selections are expected to fill key technology gaps, provide enabling knowledge or data, and represent a significant advancement in the SSL technology base. Excluding organic LED projects, recipients include:

  • Aluminum nitride substrate maker Crystal IS Inc of Green Island, NY (with LED maker Philip Lumileds Lighting of San Jose, CA as a team member), for the $1.3m, two-year project ‘GaN-ready aluminum nitride substrates for cost-effective, very low dislocation density III-nitride LEDs’. The substrate (with targeted defect densities below 10^5/cm²) will then be tested by growing high-efficiency blue LEDs.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (with team member Luminus Devices Inc), for the $2.2m, three-year project ‘Fundamental Studies of Higher Efficiency III-N LEDs for High-Efficiency High-Power Solid-State Lighting’, which seeks to understand the impact of strain, defects, polarization, and Stokes loss upon the internal quantum efficiency of LEDs.
  • Lehigh University, for the $0.6m, three-year project ‘Enhancements of Radiative Efficiency with Staggered InGaN Quantum Well Light Emitting Diodes’, which seeks to solve the problem of low efficiency in green LEDs (caused by a reduced wavefunction overlap due to the polarization field inside the quantum well).
  • Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, for the $1.3m, three-year project ‘Novel Defect Spectroscopy of InGaN materials for Improved Green LEDs’ seeks to develop a platform centered around deep-level optical spectroscopy (DLOS) capable of interrogating deep levels throughout the InGaN band gap.

Six projects have been selected in response to the Product Development part of the FOA, to a total value of $17.1m (including an average of 32% in cost-share from industry), focused on the improvement of commercially viable materials, devices, or systems. Recipients include:

  • Cree Inc of Durham, NC, for the $2.6m, two-year project ‘Efficient White SSL Component for General Illumination’, which seeks to develop a low-cost LED capable of replacing standard, halogen, fluorescent and metal halide lamps.
  • Philips Lumileds Lighting, for the $2.7m, three-year project ‘135lm/W 1050lm Warm White LED for illumination’, which seeks to develop pre-production prototypes with a correlated color temperature of 2800-3500K and a color rendering index (CRI) greater than 90.
  • General Electric of Niskayuna, NY (with team members GE Lumination and the University of Maryland), for the $2.2m, two-year project ‘Affordable High-Eficiency Solid-State Replacement Down-Light Luminaries with Novel Cooling’, based on LED cooling using synthetic jets combined with optimized system packaging and electronics.
  • Osram Sylvania Development Inc of Danvers, MA, for the $0.9m, two-year project ‘High Quality Down Lighting Luminaire with 73% Overall System Efficiency’, which seeks to minimize thermal, optical and electronic losses and achieve a luminous steady-state output of 1300lm.

The goal of the SSL program is, by 2025, to develop solid-state lighting technologies that, compared to conventional lighting technologies, are much more energy efficient, longer lasting, and cost competitive by targeting a product system efficiency of 50% with lighting that accurately reproduces the sunlight spectrum.

See related item:

DOE awards third-round SSL project funding worth $13.3m

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