Department of Energy funds essential R&D for LEDs and OLEDs

The US Department of Energy has provided strong support for solid-state lighting over the last several years through funding of numerous research and development programs, writes Siân Harris.

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With an eye on the long-term energy-saving potential of LED and OLED lighting potential, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded a large number of projects since 2003 as part of its Solid State Lighting (SSL) program.

DOE supports SSL research on for both LEDs and organic LEDs in six key areas: quantum efficiency, longevity, stability and control, packaging, infrastructure, and cost reduction. The projects range in scope from investigations into epitaxial materials, phosphors and novel organic materials, all the way through to demonstrations of LED- and OLED-based luminaires.

Beneficiaries include large and small businesses, academia and industrial labs, with multiple partners often working together. Details of current and completed projects can be found in the 2007 Project Portfolio (see under "Reference Reports").

The total contract value of DOE projects has reached $91.8 million, with $71.9 million coming from the DOE itself and $19.9 million from participants. From this total, $40 million has gone to OLED projects and $51.8 million to LED-related work. The split between core technology and product development is shown in Figure 1. (Since these numbers were compiled, the DOE has announced funding of a further 8 projects with a value of $13.3 million - see DOE funds further SSL projects worth $13.3 million.)


This article was published in the June 2007 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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