U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Building Technologies Office – R&D Projects

Research Highlights

DOE partners with leading researchers from industry, academia, and national laboratories to accelerate advances in solid-state lighting (SSL). These researchers have made dramatic progress in just a few years, achieving several world records as well as national recognition.

Since DOE began funding SSL research projects in 2000, a total of 159 patents have been applied for or awarded. For more information, see the SSL Patents fact sheetPDF. Download Adobe Reader.

Collaborative, cost-shared DOE R&D projects combine the technical resources of premier research institutions and national laboratories with the product development, manufacturing, and commercialization expertise of industry leaders. DOE invests in research projects that target the needed improvements in price, performance, and manufacturability to speed SSL technologies to market.

For a complete listing of current DOE SSL R&D projects, see the Project Portfolio.

Photo of a synthesis flask containing newly formed nanocrystal emitters. The emitters show bright yellow luminescence.

SUNY/Buffalo Developing High-Efficiency Colloidal Quantum Dot Phosphors

The State University of New York at Buffalo is working to reduce the cost and increase the performance of LEDs for general illumination by developing high-efficiency colloidal quantum dot phosphors to replace conventional phosphors (i.e., those placed directly on the chip). Colloidal quantum dot phosphors are nanocrystal emitters and contain no rare-earth elements. What's more, it's possible to tune the emission wavelength merely by changing their size. (July 2013) Learn more.

Photo of LED luminaires and individual LEDs mounted on heat sinks in test chamber

RTI International Develops SSL Luminaire Reliability Model

With the help of DOE funding, RTI International is developing and validating accelerated life testing methodologies and a reliability model for predicting the lifetime of integrated SSL luminaires. The model will combine industry-standard test data with findings from RTI's extensive testing and is intended to provide the lighting industry with a tool to understand the benefits and tradeoffs in choosing an advanced lighting technology such as SSL. (July 2013) Learn more.

a picture of a warm white LED

Philips Lumileds Develops a Low-Cost, High-Power, Warm-White LED Package

With the help of DOE funding, Philips Lumileds has developed a low-cost, high-power, warm-white LED package for general illumination. Over the course of the two-year project, Philips Lumileds demonstrated record efficacies, achieved through progress in high-efficiency royal blue pump LED development. (June 2013) Learn more.

OLED Substrate

PPG Industries Develops a Low-Cost Integrated OLED Substrate

With the help of DOE funding, PPG Industries, Inc., has developed a low-cost OLED substrate, using inexpensive soda-lime "float" glass that is manufactured at high volume for the architectural industry. PPG demonstrated significant material cost reduction using this substrate and also demonstrated scalable light-extraction technologies that increase the efficiency of the OLED lighting devices by more than 30 percent. (June 2013) Learn more.

a diagrame of a Semi-Polar Substrate

Soraa Is Optimizing the Use of Non-Polar and Semi-Polar Substrates to Improve Emitter Efficiency Under High-Current Operation

Soraa is working to find the optimal semipolar orientation for LED epitaxial growth, building on their GaN-on-GaN technology, which grows the GaN epitaxial layer on low defect density native GaN substrate instead of the conventional approach of growing heteroepitaxially. Soraa has already demonstrated 450 nm emitting nonpolar LEDs with internal quantum efficiencies of almost 90 percent and very low droop characteristics. (June 2013) Learn more.

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