Low Cost Crystals for LED Lighting Awarded DOE Funding

The Department of Energy recently announced $151 million funding for 37 ambitious research projects to pursue breakthroughs that could fundamentally change the way we use and produce energy. One of the selected projects includes the development of low cost crystals for LED lighting.

Developed by Momentive Performance Materials, this proposal for novel crystal growth technology could dramatically lower the cost of developing light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are 30 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and four times more efficient than compact fluorescents. This higher quality, low-cost material would offer significant breakthroughs in lowering costs of finished LED lighting, accelerating mass market use, and dramatically decreasing U.S. lighting energy usage, according to the company. Lighting accounts for 14 percent of U.S. electricity use.

The $151 million in funding is being awarded through the Department's recently-formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ("ARPA-E"). This is the first round of projects funded under ARPA-E, which is receiving total of $400 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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