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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded eight Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants targeting advances in solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The SBIR program seeks to increase the participation of small businesses in federal R&D.

  • Five Phase I awards will explore the technical merit or feasibility of an innovative concept or technology
  • Three Phase II awards will expand on Phase I results and enable awardees to evaluate the commercial potential of new technology.

To learn more about the DOE Office of Science SBIR program, visit

The Phase I awards are listed below:

Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Enhanced Light Outcoupling in WOLEDs 
: This research will utilize novel outcoupling enhancement features in OLEDs architectures to enable highly efficient, organic solid-state lighting sources to replace short lifetime 12 lm/W incandescent sources. Additionally, the research will support future work to attain OLEDs having 150 lm/W power efficacy.

Recipient: Aqwest
Title: Thermal Management for High-Brightness LEDs
: This project will develop and demonstrate a novel "active heat spreader" (AHS) cooling technology, which efficiently removes heat for LEDs and allows the diode junction to operate at reduced, safer temperature, thereby extending LED lifespan and reliability. Integrated high-brightness LED (HB-LED) assemblies with AHS aimed at specific product types will be developed.

Recipient: TDA Research Inc.
Title: New Low Work Function, Transparent Electrodes for Robust, Inverted-Design OLEDs 
: This project involves a new low work function, transparent version of TDA's specialty conducting polymer that can be processed from solvent dispersion and will be used as an efficient electron-injecting layer in conjunction with a low work function transparent conducting oxide. This structure represents a transparent electrode useful for producing an inverted OLED device structure in which tin-doped indium oxide is eliminated along with the need for problematic reactive metal cathodes.

Recipient: Aguila Technologies Inc.
Title: Sintered Conductive Adhesives for HB – LED Thermal Management 
: Before HB-LEDs can replace traditional lighting sources, improvements to thermal management schemes – particularly bonding technologies – must be found to ensure consistent color quality and competitive operational lifetime. Conductive adhesives are the weakest point in the thermal path. This project is developing a new metallic adhesive technology that provides at least ten times the thermal performance of existing adhesive technologies for use in advanced electronics applications.

Recipient: Physical Optics Corporation
Title: Built-In Electrofluidic Thermo-Management of Solid-State Illumination Arrays 
: This project is focused on developing a proposed system that uses electrostatically enhanced, two-phase thermal transporters embedded into the epoxy casing of multiple HB-LEDs to provide a thermal resistance near 4°C/W between the LED junction and the ambient environment. The proposed system is based on electrohydrodynamic atomization, electrostatically controlled liquid and vapor transport, and an electrostatically assisted convective heat sink, with transporters that will efficiently extract heat from each LED junction and direct it to an ultra-compact system heat sink, which is convectively cooled by a cluster of ion-driven air microjets.

The Phase II awards are listed below:

Recipient: Add-Vision Inc.
Title: Materials Degradation Analysis and Development to Enable Ultra Low Cost, Web-Processed White P-OLED for SSL 
: In Phase I of this project, device and encapsulation materials trials as well as chemical analysis techniques were used to analyze the degradation mechanisms limiting performance in air printed doped polymer OLEDs. The initial effort in Phase II is to develop moisture control materials to enable higher performance devices consistent with a low cost manufacturing approach. In addition, further degradation analysis will be performed to uncover further degradation limiting factors.

Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: High Efficacy Phosphorescent SOLED Lighting 
: During Phase I, UDC exceeded its goals, demonstrating a warm white stacked OLED (SOLED) with an efficacy of 50 lm/W at a forward luminance of 1,000 cd/m2. The device had a CRI of 72 and a lifetime of over 80,000 hours from an initial luminance of 1,000 cd/m2. In Phase II, UDC will design and fabricate prototype warm white stacked OLEDs that have similar light output to conventional fluorescent lighting fixtures. These prototypes will have an efficacy of >75 lm/W, a warm white color temperature, and LT70 >35,000 hours at 2,000 cd/m2.

Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Efficient, Large Area WOLED Lighting 
: This research focuses on enabling the demonstration of an efficient, novel OLED illumination system that exceeds the requirements of an ENERGY STAR® product, using large area panels that have the same high efficiency as small area test pixels. Phase I goals – of demonstrating a non-stacked white phosphorescent OLED with six organic materials with extremely long lifetime of LT50 >200,000 hours from 1,000 cd/m2 initial luminance – were exceeded. Phase II will concentrate on designing and fabricating a prototype warm white OLED that achieves 75 lm/W with LT70 >35,000 hours at an initial luminance of 1,000 cd/m2.