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

Building Technologies Office – Financial Opportunities

DOE Announces Seven SBIR/STTR Grants, One Xlerator Award for SSL Technology

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded six Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, one Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant, and one Xlerator award targeting advances in solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The SBIR/STTR program seeks to increase the participation of small businesses in federal R&D. To learn more about the DOE Office of Science SBIR program, visit http://sbir.er.doe.gov/sbir/.

  • Six Phase I awards will explore the technical merit or feasibility of an innovative concept or technology.
  • One Phase II award will expand on Phase I results and enable awardees to evaluate the commercial potential of new technology.
  • One Phase III Xlerator award will pursue commercial applications of work that derives from, extends, or logically concludes efforts performed under prior SBIR funding agreements (Phase I and Phase II).

The Phase I awards are briefly described below:

SBIR Recipient: ORBITEC
Title: Off-Grid Solid-State Agricultural Lighting
Summary: Photoperiod lighting is used in high-value ornamental crop production to control flowering and improve plant quality. Solid-state lighting systems combined with photovoltaic systems would allow large growing areas to be illuminated independently of the power grid. Benefits to the commercial producer include reduced energy costs, reduced expendables, more precise control of plants, and less light pollution. The project objective is to develop fixtures, control systems, and operating protocols necessary to implement large-area off-grid solid-state agricultural lighting.

SBIR Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Thermal Management of Phosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Devices
Description: It is well known that higher operating temperatures reduce OLED lifetimes, which is why studies and improvements in thermal management are important to improve OLED performances. This project will fabricate 15 cm15 cm large-area high-efficiency white phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) lighting panels with various designs, followed by thermal characterization and layout evaluation. This study will provide detailed information about the thermal impact on large-area lighting panels and therefore enable improved thermal management to achieve low-temperature operation and extend panel lifetimes.

SBIR Recipient: Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
Title: Dielectric Printed Circuit Board
Description: A core technology is proposed for improved thermal management of LEDs, currently a critical obstacle in the development of the solid-state lighting industry. An innovative approach to circuit board design allows it to also function as a highly conductive heat spreader, significantly improving the thermal management over current methods.

STTR Recipient: Sinmat Inc.
Title: Low Cost, Scalable Manufacturing of Microlens Engineered Substrates (MLES) for Enhanced Light Extraction in OLED Devices
Summary: Improvement in efficiency and reduction in cost are needed to make organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) viable as a general lighting source. This project proposes to develop a low-cost microlens engineered substrate to address light out-coupling at both substrate interfaces. The elimination of wave-guided modes in substrate and active layer would lead to several-fold improvement in the efficiency of these devices.

SBIR Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Novel Optical Enhancement for Thin Phosphorescent OLED Lighting Panels
Summary: Phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) lighting panels can already be fabricated with high efficacy and long lifetime. However, at the present time, the highest efficacies are recorded only when bulky light extraction fixtures are used. The focus of this work is on the development of low-cost thin form factor light extraction techniques that maximize efficacy while maintaining the attractive thin form factor of OLED lighting panels.

SBIR Recipient: Luminus Devices, Inc.
Title: Smart and Efficient Drivers for Big-Chip Photonic Lattice LEDs
Summary: This project aims to develop efficient electrical drivers for big-chip photonic-lattice LEDs by designing conversion electronics specifically targeted to driving single-junction, high-current diodes. This product will accelerate the ability of small luminaire manufacturers to use and develop products that can take advantage of big-chip photonic-lattice LEDs.

The Phase II award is briefly described below:

SBIR Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Ultra High Efficiency Phosphorescent OLED Lighting
Summary: This project builds on UDC's long-term plan to realize ultrahigh-efficiency phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for lighting. It seeks to achieve a 120 lm/W white OLED via special out-coupling enhancements that depend on using high-index substrates and low-voltage operation. The project also makes use of new phosphorescent host materials that are energetically matched to transport layers.

The Phase III Xlerator award is briefly described below:

Xlerator Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Title: Energy Saving Phosphorescent OLED Luminaires
Summary: This project proposes to develop a general purpose luminaire targeted at high-end commercial and institutional building spaces, using UDC's "striped" PHOLED panels. The proposed luminaire will have a total luminous output of 4,000-5,000 lumens, a tunable CCT of 2700K to 4000K, an overall luminaire efficacy of over 70 lm/W, an initial panel luminous emittance of 6,000 lm/m2, and a lifetime of 25,000 hours. The objective is to develop an economically viable, energy-efficient, near-term commercial product that can compete directly with linear fluorescent technology.