DOE awards seven SBIR/STTR grants for SSL technology

Sept. 13, 2010
Washington, DC--Five commercial solid-state-lighting (SSL) companies were the recipients of seven SBIR/STTR awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Washington, DC--Five commercial solid-state-lighting (SSL) companies were the recipients of seven SBIR/STTR awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Universal Display Corp. (Ewing, NJ), developer of phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) lighting, fared especially well, having received three of the awards.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant program seeks to increase the participation of small businesses in federal R&D.

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 the awardee to evaluate the commercial potential of new technology. Here are the award recipients, along with brief descriptions of the award:


SBIR Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
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: Universal Display Corporation
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.
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.

STTR Recipient: Sinmat Inc.
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: Orbitec
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: Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
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.


SBIR Recipient: Universal Display Corporation
Ultra High Efficiency Phosphorescent OLED Lighting
Summary: This project builds on UDC's long-term plan to realize ultrahigh-efficiency PHOLEDs 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.

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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