SBIR Phase II: Efficient Light Out Coupling from AlGaN Light Emitting Diodes

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0522067
Agency Tracking Number: 0338855
Amount: $99,958.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
351 Thornton Road, Lithia Springs, GA, 30122
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hisham Menkara
 (404) 664-5008
Business Contact
 Hisham Menkara
Title: Dr
Phone: (404) 664-5008
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop novel graded-index (GIN) structures for blue/UV light emitting diodes (LEDs). Solidstate LEDs (SSLs) are among the most efficient converters of electrical energy into light and additionally have the advantages of long lifetime, excellent reliability, low power consumption, light weight, small size and excellent resistance to mechanical shock and vibration. These significant benefits over conventional lighting explain why, according to a recent study, the average growth rate for the SSL market is expected to be around 200% per year for the next five years.Since LEDs are narrow-band emitters, they must be coupled to an efficient downconverting phosphor in order to achieve the broad emission necessary for the generation of white light. However, even for a perfect phosphor, high efficiency will not be achievable unless there is also efficient out-coupling of radiation from the LED into the phosphor and from the phosphor to air. The resulting losses associated with outcoupling are due to the difference in refractive indices (n) of adjacent material layers that cause Fresnel Reflections and total internal reflection (TIR). In Phase I the research team has developed unique material structures and electrophoretic (EP) deposition process that are expected to realize high out-coupling efficiencies from LEDs at low costs. During Phase I, the feasibility of the EP deposition process has been successfully demonstrated and the advantage of an index-matching structure has been shown to significantly (~50%) improve the light extraction efficiency in LEDs. This fact was demonstrated both experimentally and theoretically using ray tracing simulations. In Phase II the work will focus on refining these structures for blue/UV LED's to develop the efficient down- converting technology for enabling the new solid state lighting systems. Commercially if SSL technology can achieve this projected goal, the lighting industry would be revolutionized. Potentially an efficiency of 200lm/W is possible, more than 2X better than that of fluorescent lamps (80lm/W), and more than 10X better than that of incandescent lamps (15lm/W). If current lighting, with an aggregate efficiency of roughly 50lm/W (in between the efficiencies of fluorescent and incandescent lamps), were replaced by semiconductor lighting with an aggregate efficiency of 150lm/W (somewhat less than the target), then the electricity currently used for illumination would decrease by a factor of three, from 2,350TWh to 780TWh. This would represent a decrease in global electricity use of 13%, and a decrease in global energy use and associated carbon emissions of 2.3%. In the U.S., the potential reduction in electricity consumption due to lighting is expected to be as high as 50% by the year 2025.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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