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Five lighting projects are among the recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) Funding Awards. These projects will support key scientific advancements in SSL technology, helping to accelerate the development of high-quality LED and OLED lighting products that can significantly improve energy affordability for American families and businesses. In total, the five selected SSL projects will receive $12.5 million and will make a cost-share contribution for a total public-private investment of $16 million.

The five selected SSL projects will also help drive U.S. technology leadership in SSL by supporting innovative research. This is the 14th round of the Department's investments in solid-state lighting R&D. These projects have been selected for award negotiations, but DOE does not constitute a commitment to issue awards until negotiations are successfully completed.

Recipient: Lumileds, LLC (San Jose, CA)
Title: Efficient Green and Yellow LEDs for Solid-State Lighting Applications
Summary: Lumileds will team with the University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories, and Ohio State University to address the “green gap” and improve long-wavelength LEDs. Advanced LED characterization methods and predictive modeling calculations will be applied to design epitaxy optimization experiments. Novel device concepts will also be evaluated.
DOE Share: $4,755,095; Cost Share: $1,188,774

Recipient: Nanosys Inc. (Milpitas, CA)
Title: Stable Cadmium-free Down-Converters for Solid-State Lighting
Summary: Nanosys will partner with the University of California-Merced to develop heavy-metal-free InP-based quantum dots (QDs) to endure the high-flux requirements of LEDs. The work will focus on characterization, QD structure development, and synthetic development of efficient and stable QDs and is based on an existing portfolio of display-based QDs.
DOE Share: $2,000,000; Cost Share: $803,135

Recipient: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
Title: Multifunctional Optical Outcouplers for Efficient and Stable White OLEDs
Summary: The project’s goal is to improve the stability and lifetime of blue OLEDs. Addressing stability will involve decreasing exciton lifetimes, reducing energy densities, and using surface plasmon modes at metal/dielectric interfaces, with much of the effort focusing on converting this energy back to useful light. The researchers will also target methods to increase the light extraction using multifunctional optical outcouplers.
DOE Share: $1,500,000; Cost Share: $375,000

Recipient: OLEDWorks LLC (Rochester, NY)
Title: High-Efficacy, Long-Lifetime Flexible White OLED Lighting Panels
Summary: OLEDWorks will collaborate with Luminit and the University of Michigan to develop flexible internal light extraction methods and processes. The internal light extraction technology will be integrated with a flexible thin glass substrate to demonstrate high-efficiency, long-lifetime flexible white OLED panels and processes for their manufacture.
DOE Share: $1,440,000; Cost Share: $360,000

Recipient: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
Title: Spatially Adaptive Tunable Lighting Control System with Expanded Wellness and Energy Saving Benefits
Summary: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will team with Lumileds and HKS to develop comprehensive augmented-reality/virtual-reality (AR/VR) tools for lighting designers to enable dynamic light sculpting, autonomously placing the right lighting where and when it is needed. The team will develop a) a pixelated-LED luminaire with pan/tilt/focus control and two spectral power distributions, b) a sensor network for occupancy and activity awareness, and c) a digital twin AR/VR platform.
DOE Share: $2,825,261; Cost Share: $711,036