LED / Optoelectronics
Solid-state lighting (SSL)
Solid-state lighting (SSL) is the most promising energy saving solution for future lighting applications. Because the light from SSL is narrowband, and can be concentrated in the visible portion of the spectrum, it has, like fluorescence, much higher light-emission efficiency than incandescence.
Unlike in fluorescence technology, the wavelength of the narrowband emission can be tailored relatively easily. Hence, this technology is even more efficient than fluorescence. Lighting is going through a radical transformation, driven by various societal, economical, and environmental needs and rapid progress of SSL and system-related technologies.
In 2005, lighting sources is attributed to 19% of global energy consumption. Migration towards highly efficient LEDs could potentially safe 500 coal power plants (500MW) based on those figures. Research interests in this area includes deposition methods for epitaxial layer technologies, thermal interface material and thermal management, various polymers for LEDs and smart and autonomous lighting systems.
An important aspect towards more sophisticated electronics and higher brightness LEDs relates to its thermal management capabilities. With better thermal management capabilities, power electronics could run at higher power rating, logic devices could operate at higher operating conditions, and LEDs could operate ah higher brightness levels; thus reducing LED chips required for a package/system.
As such, materials with superior thermal management properties will have a profound impact on the LED industry; but would potentially impact other sub-sectors within the electronics industry. Research domain includes thermal interface materials, thermal modelling and coatings.
The rapid growth of the LED industry has fuelled the needs for polymers with superior properties such as high refractive index, UV resistant, and thermal resistant.
These properties reflect technological developments at the LED front, looking into high brightness devices, laser lighting, and overall revamp of how light sources are designed.
Interestingly, the availability of novel polymers will create opportunities for new designs especially in package component and system level development.
Smart lighting is the domain where LED converges with IoT. There are many ways smart lighting can impact human lives. Below are some examples (non-exhaustive) of potential applications:
- Impact on human mood
- Perceived lighting
- Energy conservation via human presence detection
- Means of data communication
- Leveraging on big data