The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the competitive selection of 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 projects will focus on the areas of Core Technology Research, which involves the application of fundamental scientific concepts to SSL technology; Product Development, which involves using the knowledge gained from basic or applied research to develop or improve commercially viable SSL materials, devices, or systems; and Manufacturing Research and Development, which involves accelerating SSL technology adoption through manufacturing innovations and improvements that reduce costs and enhance quality and consistency. Total DOE funding for the nine projects is more than $10.5 million and leverages a cost-share contribution from each recipient, for a total public-private investment of over $13.5 million.

This is the eleventh round of DOE investments in solid-state lighting core technology research and product development; no manufacturing projects were selected in this round. These efforts are part of DOE's initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through improvements that not only improve energy efficiency but also reduce costs while maintaining product quality and performance. The selections are listed below (final details are subject to negotiations):

Recipient: Cree, Inc. (Durham, NC)
Title: High Efficacy, Multi-Functional SSL Platform
Summary: This project will incorporate a high-efficacy LED light engine into a demonstration luminaire, with concurrent advancements in LED light engines, optics, and sensors integrated to result in high efficacy as well as additional features such as spectral tuning.
DOE Share: $1,499,986; Cost Share: $499,996

Recipient: Columbia University (New York, NY)
Title:: Graded Alloy Quantum Dots for Energy Efficient Solid State Lighting
Summary: This project will use an inexpensive and widely tunable library of quantum dot (QD) synthesis reagents along with automated high-throughput synthesis and analysis tools to grade the alloy composition of QD heterostructures, in order to provide stable and efficient narrow-band red down-converters for LEDs.  
DOE Share: $1,014,798; Cost Share: $257,534

Recipient: GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY)
Title: Highly Integrated Modular LED Luminaire
Summary: This project will build a scalable, efficient, modular luminaire to address the integration of driver, optics, and package in a flexible integration platform that allows for simplified manufacturing to customized performance specifications.
DOE Share: $1,177,064; Cost Share: $392,355

Recipient: Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
Title: Enhanced Light Extraction from Low Cost White OLEDs (WOLEDs) Fabricated on Novel Patterned Substrates
Summary: This project will demonstrate a way to increase the outcoupling of simple white OLEDs while maintaining a high color rendering index, by disrupting the internal waveguiding, using a unique and innovative corrugation pattern.
DOE Share: $1,318,938; Cost Share: $331,598

Recipient: Lumenari, Inc. (Lexington, KY)
Title: Narrow Emitting Red Phosphors for Improving pcLED Efficacy
Summary: This project will develop a narrow-bandwidth red phosphor to improve phosphor-converted LED efficacy up to 28%.  This will be accomplished through a combination of experimental and computational techniques to develop a novel host material for the selected emitter ion.
DOE Share: $1,499,089; Cost Share: $374,773

Recipient: Lumileds (San Jose, CA)
Title: High-Efficacy High-Power LED for Directional Applications
Summary: This project will develop a high-efficacy, high-power LED emitter enabled by patterned sapphire substrate flip-chip architecture, die development to include novel contact design, phosphors with reduced bandwidth, and new optical materials for light extraction from the die.
DOE Share: $1,498,228; Cost Share: $499,410

Recipient: North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
Title: Low Cost Corrugated Substrates for High Efficiency OLEDs
Summary: This project will develop OLEDs fabricated on low-cost high index corrugated substrates with a semi-random periodicity to give enhancements in extraction efficiency across the entire visible spectrum, due to the extraction of the thin-film-guided and surface-plasmon modes.
DOE Share: $583,953; Cost Share: $157,000

Recipient: Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA)
Title: Understanding, Predicting, and Mitigating Catastrophic Shorts for Improved OLED Lighting Panel Reliability
Summary: This project will develop a way to better understand and predict the occurrence of short circuits in OLED lighting panels, in order to reduce failure rates by means of 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.
DOE Share: $1,087,981; Cost Share: $271,996

Recipient: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
Title: Getting All the Light Out: Eliminating Plasmon Losses in High Efficiency White Organic Light Emitting Devices for Lighting Applications
Summary: This project will develop innovative methods to outcouple the light within OLED devices in order to increase external quantum efficiency. This will be accomplished through nanoscale texturing beneath the anode outside the active region, fabricating sub-anode gratings along with microlens arrays, and top emitting structures with a sub-anode grid coupled with a reflective mirror at the base.
DOE Share: $900,000; Cost Share: $225,269