DOE Announces Selections for SSL Manufacturing R&D (Round 4) Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the competitive selection of five projects for solid-state lighting (SSL), in response to the SSL Manufacturing R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0000792. The two-year projects will focus on achieving significant cost reductions while maintaining quality by improving manufacturing equipment, processes, or monitoring techniques. Total DOE funding for the five projects is $10.1 million and leverages a matching $10.1 million private-sector investment from the five companies.

This is the fourth round of DOE investments in solid-state lighting manufacturing projects. These efforts are part of DOE's initiative to accelerate the adoption of SSL technology through improvements that reduce costs while maintaining product quality and performance. They will play an important role in encouraging U.S.-based manufacturing of SSL technologies—creating jobs, boosting exports, and promoting America's role as a global leader in energy efficiency.

The selections are listed below (final details are subject to negotiations):

Recipient: Cree, Inc. (Durham, NC)
Title: Scalable Light Module for Low‐Cost, High Efficiency LED Luminaires
Summary: This project plans to develop a versatile, low-cost, low-profile LED light-module architecture that facilitates the assembly of a variety of high-efficacy, broad-area LED luminaires. The light module will be driven by a novel, compact LED package for a combination of high color rendering index (CRI) and high efficacy over a wide range of color temperatures. To do this, Cree will take a vertically integrated approach to the development of the LED component and light module, optical, electrical, and mechanical sub-systems for optimal light generation, distribution, extraction, and diffusion.

Recipient: Eaton Corporation (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Title: Print‐Based Manufacturing of Integrated, Low Cost, High Performance SSL Luminaires
Summary: This project plans to reduce costs by using manufacturing process innovation to develop a way to place the LED package, chip, or chip array directly on a fixture or heatsink. Flexible manufacturing for planar, non-planar, and recessed product designs will be investigated through the development of non-traditional thick film processes. The approach will include the placement of integrated power electronics and will allow for cost reductions through improved thermal performance, reduced materials and parts, and enabled automation and manufacturing flexibility.

Recipient: OLEDWorks, LLC (Rochester, NY)
Title: Innovative High‐Performance Deposition Technology for Low‐Cost Manufacturing of OLED Lighting
Summary: The current high manufacturing cost of OLED lighting is a major barrier to market acceptance. This project plans to reduce OLED manufacturing costs by developing innovative high-performance deposition technology. The proposed deposition technology provides solutions to the two largest parts of the manufacturing cost problem: the expense of organic materials per area of useable product, and the depreciation of equipment. The goal is to be able to supply affordable, high-quality products to help grow the emerging OLED lighting market.

Recipient: Philips Lumileds Lighting Company (San Jose, CA)
Title: Development and Industrialization of InGaN/GaN LEDs on Patterned Sapphire Substrates for Low Cost Emitter Architecture
Summary: This project plans to reduce LED manufacturing costs by establishing a patterned sapphire substrate fabrication process with demonstrated epitaxial growth of indium gallium nitride (InGaN) layers capable of producing high-efficiency LEDs when combined with chip-on-board packaging techniques. The proposed cost reductions would result from the elimination of some of the complex processes associated with current flip-chip technology, and from the enabling of lower-cost packaging methods that take advantage of the stability of the sapphire substrate, which is removed in a standard flip-chip device. This approach has the potential to reduce the cost of high-brightness LED lamps and modules targeted across a wide range of lighting and illumination applications.

Recipient: PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Title: Manufacturing Process for OLED Integrated Substrate
Summary: This project plans to develop manufacturing processes to enable commercialization of a large-area, low‐cost "integrated substrate" for rigid OLED lighting, using inexpensive float glass combined with a transparent conductive anode film layer, and internal and external light extraction techniques. The availability of a commercial, low‐cost substrate will reduce manufacturing costs of the OLED devices to stimulate marketable product developments and provide a technology base for increased OLED manufacturing capacity as demand grows.