Recently, according to The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), it has released more than $7 million for three innovative lighting projects at companies in California, Michigan and North Carolina that aim to lower the cost of manufacturing high-efficiency solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies LEDs and OLEDs.
The two-year projects selected will focus on significantly reducing manufacturing costs while continuing to improve the quality and performance of solid state lighting technologies. These investments, which will leverage an additional $5 million in private sector funding, will focus on improving manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques that will help make LEDs and OLEDs cost-competitive with other lighting options.
The awards selected for negotiation include:
• Cree Inc. (Durham, North Carolina) – This project will develop an optimized, cost-competitive LED fixture design that can be readily integrated into buildings and applications and uses fewer raw materials – all without compromising performance. The project builds on Cree’s existing LED technology and aims to provide warm-white light over a minimum lifetime of 50,000 hours, while reducing the cost of manufacturing the major components and assembled products. (DOE Award: $2,344,000; Total Project: $3,044,000)
• KLA-Tencor (Milpitas, California) - This project aims to develop a measurement tool that will help reduce variation in LED production quality, helping to improve performance, reduce manufacturing costs and provide white light that has consistent color quality and brightness. (DOE Award: $3,995,000; Total Project: $7,989,500)
• k-Space Associates (Dexter, Michigan) - This project plans to create a more efficient manufacturing process by building on k-Space’s existing optical monitoring technology to enable high-precision measurements of OLED layers during mass production. The tool will measure layer thickness and composition to ultimately improve the efficiency, color, and lifetime of OLEDs. This development, a first for the industry, will serve as a platform for future large‐scale OLED production facilities, paving the way for a strong U.S. presence in OLED manufacturing. (DOE Award: $800,000; Total Project: $1,200,000)