DOE Announces Selections for SSL R&D Funding Opportunity (Round 12)

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The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the competitive selection of seven projects for solid-state lighting (SSL), in response to the SSL R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001613. The projects will help accelerate the development of high-quality light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products that can significantly reduce energy costs for American families and businesses by using less electricity than products currently in use, and ensure that the United States remains a global leader in SSL innovation. Total DOE funding for the seven projects is $8 million and leverages a cost-share contribution from each recipient, for a total public-private investment of over $10 million.

This is the twelfth round of the Department's investments in solid-state lighting R&D. These efforts are part of DOE's initiative to foster fundamental technology breakthroughs to unlock new levels of SSL performance and energy savings, and to strengthen U.S. SSL technology leadership. The selections are listed below (final details are subject to negotiations):

Recipient: Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
Title: Stable White Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Enabled by New Materials with Reduced Excited-State Lifetime
Summary: This project will pursue a theoretical and experimental science program for discovery of novel organic blue materials and corresponding laboratory devices based on efficient and selective energy transfer. The project contributes to high efficiency and stability in white organic LEDs (WOLEDs).
DOE Share: $896,000; Cost Share: $224,000

Recipient: Lumileds, LLC (Santa Clara, CA)
Title: Improved Radiative Recombination in AlGaInP LEDs
Summary: This project studies the use of strain-engineered cladding layers for enhanced carrier confinement in AlGaInP-based amber and red LEDs. The approach seeks to gain a fundamental understanding into the nature of non-radiative defects leading to the optimization of epitaxial growth conditions for minimized material quality degradation.
DOE Share: $1,308,970; Cost Share: $327,243

Recipient: OLEDWorks, LLC (Rochester, NY)
Title: Mask-Free OLED Fabrication
Summary: This project investigates the use of a novel materials deposition and device fabrication technique to eliminate the use of shadow masks during vacuum thermal evaporation (VTE). The approach is accomplished through an innovative substrate and encapsulation design, combined with a unique in-vacuum laser patterning process. 
DOE Share: $1,490,826; Cost Share: $372,707

Recipient: University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
Title: Novel Lighting Strategies for Circadian and Sleep Health in Shiftwork Applications
Summary: This project seeks to gain a basic understanding of circadian health impacts on night workers observed in an emergency-room setting for the beginning of the night shift. This represents a critical demographic health impact providing key building blocks that can be applied to the development of future LED light engines and luminaires.
DOE Share: $653,625; Cost Share: $163,500

Recipient: University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
Title: High Performance Green LEDs for Solid State Lighting
Summary: This project combines theoretical modeling and laboratory experimentation to address the scientific questions of green emitter inefficiencies through a multipronged approach that includes composite quantum wells and barriers, electrical field screening by spatially localized doping or polarization matched quantum wells and barriers, and improved perpendicular transport properties.
DOE Share: $1,000,000; Cost Share: $250,134

Recipient: University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Title: Combining Fluorescence and Phosphorescence to Achieve Very Long Lifetime, 100% Efficient, High Brightness White OLEDs
Summary: This early‐stage project investigates the combination of blue fluorescent and red/green phosphorescent emitter materials for white-emitting OLED technology. These hybrid fluorescent/phosphorescent materials have the potential to give markedly improved efficacy and lifetime.
DOE Share: $1,500,000; Cost Share: $397,196

Recipient: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA)
Title: Investigating the Health Impacts of Outdoor Lighting
Summary: The project provides key experimental data on the effects of roadway lighting on drivers, pedestrians, and those residences that experience light trespass. Through a highly controlled experimental test plan aimed at identifying threshold effects for different correlated color temperatures (CCT), the project provides insight into the conversion of outdoor lighting systems to SSL and will allow for science-based informed decision‐making.
DOE Share: $1,200,000; Cost Share: $300,000