In early June of 2016, the Energy Department announced at the Clean Energy Ministerial it’s funding for nine research and development projects that will support solid-state lighting (SSL), core technology research, product development, and manufacturing research. The funding for this new research will go towards LEDs, an intense light source consisting of inorganic materials, and OLEDs, a light source consisting of organic materials. By speeding up the research and development surrounding LEDs and OLEDs, these lights can more quickly help reduce American energy usage and costs in homes and businesses.
While $10 million dollars seems a large sum to invest in lighting research, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz states, “Solid-state lighting research and development has contributed to more than $2.8 billion in U.S. energy cost savings over the past 15 years, and further improvements in the technology will increase those savings even more in the years to come.” Products in today’s LED market are up to ten times more efficient than traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and will last 25 times as long. Investing in LED and OLED research and product development has proven to save money in the past, and with continued improvement and innovations, much more money in the future!
The nine projects receiving funding from the Energy Department include:
1. Cree, Inc. (Durham, North Carolina)—Developing a high-efficacy LED lighting fixture that has good color rendering as well as advanced features such as the ability to tune the color of the light;
2. Columbia University (New York, New York)—Developing improved quantum dots to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of LEDs;
3. GE Global Research (Niskayuna, New York)—Developing an efficient LED fixture that features interchangeable modules and allows for simplified manufacturing and customized performance specifications;
4. Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa)—Demonstrating a method to significantly increase the light output of white OLEDs by changing their internal features;
5. Lumenari, Inc. (Lexington, Kentucky)—Developing a narrow-bandwidth red phosphor to improve the efficacy of phosphor-converted LEDs;
6. Lumileds (San Jose, California)—Improving the design of an LED to make it more efficient by using a patterned sapphire substrate flip-chip architecture;
7. North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina)—Developing a way to get more light out of OLEDs using low-cost corrugated substrates;
8. Pennsylvania State University (State College, Pennsylvania)—Developing a way to better understand and predict the occurrence of short circuits in OLED lighting panels in order to reduce failure rates; and
9. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan)—Developing three innovative methods to harness the light within OLEDs.
You read that right, our very own Iowa State University will be receiving part of the Energy Department’s $10 million to research OLEDs!
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