DOE announces four FY15 SSL research grants in SBIR-STTR program

Jan. 29, 2015
Two phosphor-oriented projects, research focused on improving light extraction from GaN LEDs, and OLED manufacturing research comprise the first fiscal year 2015 DOE SSL grants.

Two phosphor-oriented projects, research focused on improving light extraction from GaN LEDs, and OLED manufacturing research comprise the first fiscal year 2015 DOE SSL grants.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced four fiscal year 15 (FY15) Phase 1 Release 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding grants for solid-state lighting (SSL) research and development (R&D). The companies winning funding for SSL research projects include PhosphorTech, Lumisyn, Triton Systems, and OLEDWorks.

The SBIR and STTR program is intended to engage small businesses that have innovative ideas in federal R&D. Indeed, all of the new SSL research projects will explore an innovative concept in the LED or OLED space to determine the feasibility for transfer into a commercial product.

The DOE has a long history of supporting such SSL research projects. In FY14, the agency funded four projects as well, with the participants being VoltServer, Innotec, Mojo Labs, and OLEDWorks. In FY13, the DOE funded four OLED projects.

FY15 SBIR projects

In the FY15 program, PhosphorTech's project is entitled "Plasmonic-enhanced high light extraction phosphor sheets for solid-state lighting." The research will be based on the company's phosphor film technology that could lead to a simpler process in the back-end packaging steps of LED manufacturing. But the SBIR research will specifically focus on the use of high-quantum-yield red phosphors combined with surface plasmon resonance, and techniques to improve light extraction.

Lumisyn's project is entitled "Nanocrystal-based phosphors with enhanced lifetime stability." The company hopes to reduce the degree of oxidation in such phosphors with the oxidation thought to be the basic issue with poor lifetime. By modifying the crystal structure, Lumisyn believes it can both maintain optical qualities while extending the phosphor lifetime.

Triton Systems' SSL research project is entitled "Improved light extraction from GaN LEDs." The company will work with North Dakota State University on a block copolymer system that can be applied in LED manufacturing. The results could be improved performance in LEDs in terms of output and the ability to operate reliably at extended temperatures.

OLEDWorks' research is entitled "Shorting reduction layer process development for OLED lighting panels." The SSL research project is intended to increase the reliability of OLED panels. The company will study how shorts occur in OLED panels and seek to optimize the layer in an OED stack that is grown to reduce such shorts.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.