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DOE Announces Selections for SSL Core Technology Research (Round 10), Product Development (Round 10), and U.S. Manufacturing (Round 6) Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the competitive selection of 10 projects for solid-state lighting (SSL), in response to the SSL R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001171. The one- to two-year 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 U.S. Manufacturing, which involves accelerating SSL technology adoption through manufacturing innovations and improvements that reduce costs and enhance quality and consistency. Total DOE funding for the 10 projects is more than $9.7 million and leverages a cost-share contribution from each recipient, for a total public-private investment of over $13.3 million.

This is the tenth round of DOE investments in solid-state lighting Core Technology Research and Product Development, and the sixth round of DOE investments in U.S. SSL Manufacturing R&D. These efforts are part of DOE's initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through improvements that reduce costs while maintaining product quality and performance. The selections are listed below (final details are subject to negotiations):

Recipient: Acuity Brands Lighting (Berkeley, CA)
Title: OLED Luminaire with Panel Integrated Drivers and Advanced Controls
Summary: This project plans to develop an OLED luminaire that features DC current drivers integrated with each panel, and a base station that interfaces with user control input, provides power to the OLED panels, and translates the control input to desired functionalities of the panels. The goal is to demonstrate a luminaire with an efficacy of 65 lm/W and a luminous output of 4000 lm.
DOE Share: $455,131; Cost Share: $151,710

Recipient: Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
Title: Stable and Efficient White OLEDs Based on a Single Emissive Material
Summary: This project will focus on developing an efficient and stable phosphorescent material, quick-screening it, and incorporating it into a state-of-the-art OLED. The goal is to develop efficient and stable white OLEDs employing a single emissive material.
DOE Share: $700,000; Cost Share: $175,000  

Recipient: Cree, Inc. (Durham, NC)
Title: Materials and Designs for High-Efficacy LED Light Engines
Summary: This project will focus on developing high-efficacy, cost-effective LED light engines for next-generation luminaires. The goal is to incorporate novel chip, down converter, and package geometries into a demonstration luminaire that exhibits a steady-state efficacy of >150 lm/W at 3000K and 90 CRI.
DOE Share: $1,499,971; Cost Share: $374,993

Recipient: Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM)
Title: Next-Generation “Giant” Quantum Dots:  Performance-Engineered for Lighting
Summary: This project seeks to develop quantum-dot down-converters to be used in LED lighting. The focus will be on synthesizing red-emitting quantum dots, revealing their failure mechanisms, and conducting accelerated lifetime testing on them. The goal is to demonstrate a phosphor replacement as an enabling technology for high-performance LED luminaires.
DOE Share: $1,000,000; Cost Share: $250,000

Recipient: Lumileds, LLC (San Jose, CA)
Title: Improved InGaN LED System Efficacy and Cost via Droop Reduction
Summary: The overall objective of this project is to develop high-indium-content LED epitaxy structures that dramatically improve efficiency droop, which requires that material quality losses be sufficiently mitigated so that high current performance is not impacted by the epitaxy structure changes. This objective is to be achieved by utilizing atomic-scale structure analysis and deep-level optical spectroscopy to understand the physical origins of material quality degradation in these structures, and simultaneous metalorganic chemical vapor deposition growth development to eliminate the generation of these defects. The resultant improvement in droop will be utilized to achieve an external quantum efficiency (EQE) gain of 13% relative to a baseline EQE of 55.7%, measured in a 1 mm2 or 2 mm2 commercial flip-chip LED with a peak wavelength of 450 nm at current density J=100A/cm2 and junction temperature Tj=85°C.
DOE Share: $1,495,990; Cost Share: $374,000

Recipient: Philips Research North America, LLC (Briarcliff Manor, NY)
Title: Innovative Office Lighting System with Integrated Spectrally Adaptive Control
Summary: This project will develop an innovative LED office lighting system solution that integrates light delivery, optics, and controls for energy efficiency and occupant health and well-being. The office portfolio developed in this project will maximize energy efficiency while providing spectral tuning and control functionality.
DOE Share: $499,131; Cost Share: $166,377

Recipient: RTI International (Research Triangle Park, NC)
Title: Luminaires for Advanced Lighting in Education
Summary: This project will develop and demonstrate the advantages of the novel luminaire designs that comprise the next-generation integrated classroom lighting system (NICLS) technology, demonstrate the benefits of dynamic lighting, and collect feedback from educators, administrators, and other key stakeholders on the potential benefits of dynamic lighting systems in education.
DOE Share: $450,000; Cost Share: $150,000  

Recipient: Sinovia Technologies (Foster City, CA)
Title: Integrated Plastic Substrates for OLED Lighting
Summary: This project will combine a barrier film technology with a nanowire transparent conduction film to make a single substrate product that will improve light extraction and lower the cost of OLEDs. The goal is to demonstrate a substrate/encapsulation technology that is less than 1 ohm/sq. resistivity, greater than 50% light extraction, and under the target cost of $95/m2.
DOE Share: $1,326,170; Cost Share: $1,327,310

Recipient: University of California (Santa Barbara, CA)
Title: Identification and Mitigation of Droop Mechanism in GaN-Based LEDs
Summary: This project will focus on identifying the fundamental causes of current droop in state-of-the-art commercial LEDs. An electroemission spectroscopy tool will be developed to identify the dominant electrical and thermal droop mechanisms and then to optimize non-polar and semi-polar LEDs, obtain conclusive determination of the origin of the green gap, and assess the origin of thermal droop. 
DOE Share: $1,000,000; Cost Share: $250,000

Recipient: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
Title: Stable, High-Efficiency White Electrophosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Devices by Reduced Molecular Dissociation
Summary: This project will focus on new strategies for increasing the lifetime of blue phosphorescent OLEDs (PHOLEDs). A computationally directed approach will be used to efficiently identify robust blue phosphorescent dopant and host molecular pairs. The goals will be to fabricate a white PHOLED on a size-scalable platform with 70 lm/W efficacy, at a color rendering index of 85 and a color temperature of 2750K.
DOE Share: $1,314,240; Cost Share: $433,398