News Article

DoE Looks To Fill Technology "gap" With SSL Funds

Sixteen development projects for solid-state lighting are selected for support by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, eight of which are focused on III-V substrates and processing techniques.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has selected sixteen applications under a funding program aimed at developing core technologies for solid-state lighting (SSL).

Included in the selection are eight projects focused directly on III-V substrates, epitaxy and other processing techniques, with a strong emphasis on filling technology "gaps" such as developing more efficient green high-brightness LEDs.

Other projects selected include development of organic LEDs and quantum-dot technologies.

"The present selections represent the second round in a series that may span the next decade," announced the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the DoE body through which the development is organized. "[These] are expected to represent a significant advancement in the SSL technology base."

III-V laboratories involved in the program include the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, which will work on a sacrificial substrate technique to improve GaN LED efficiency, and Sandia National Laboratories, which will develop a growth technique for making large bulk GaN substrates in one of three projects (see foot of article for details on all the selections relating to III-V compounds).

The ultimate aim of the NETL program is to develop SSL technologies that support a system efficiency of 50% by 2025.

According to current figures, the US uses 21% of its total energy consumption on lighting, a figure that the DoE wants to see halved.

Selected NETL projects (III-V related):

Georgia Tech Research Corporation A sacrificial substrate approach that will support a number of complementary growth and processing techniques to improve the overall quantum efficiency of GaN devices

Purdue University Growth of heteroepitaxial device structures on nanoscale substrates.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute A project that aims to fill the "green gap" by reducing the high dislocation densities in the active region and the huge polarization field effects throughout the LED structure. This should cut epi production costs and improve deep-green LED efficiency by a factor of 2-3.

Technologies and Devices International Materials research for producing highly-doped p-type GaN materials and device structures.

University of California, Santa Barbara Maximizing white LED efficiency using photonic crystals to extract more light from the emitter structure.

Sandia National Laboratories Another project focused on deep-green LED development, this time by using strain-relaxed InGaN templates, possibly through epitaxial lateral overgrowth.

Sandia National Laboratories A third project focused on deep-green LED development, through the use of novel alloys such as YGaN and ScGaN, which could lead to more efficient quantum wells emitting throughout the entire visible range.

Sandia National Laboratories Development of a novel, scalable, cost-effective growth technique to make low-dislocation-density bulk GaN substrates.

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