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Title: Low-Cost Illumination-Grade LEDs

Solid State Lighting is a cost-effective, energy-conserving technology serving a rapidly expand- ing multi-billion dollar market. This program was designed to accelerate this lighting revolution by reducing the manufacturing cost of Illumination-Grade LEDs. The technical strategy was to investigate growth substrate alternatives to standard planar sapphire, select the most effective and compatible option, and demonstrate a significant increase in Lumen/$ with a marketable LED. The most obvious alternate substrate, silicon, was extensively studied in the first two years of the program. The superior thermal and mechanical properties of Si were expected to improve wavelength uniformity and hence color yield in the manufacture of high-power illumination- grade LEDs. However, improvements in efficiency and epitaxy uniformity on standard c-plane sapphire diminished the advantages of switching to Si. Furthermore, the cost of sapphire decreased significantly and the cost of processing Si devices using our thin film process was higher than expected. We concluded that GaN on Si was a viable technology but not a practical option for Philips Lumileds. Therefore in 2012 and 2013, we sought and received amendments which broadened the scope to include other substrates and extended the time of execution. Proprietary engineered substrates, off-axis (non-c-plane) sapphire, and c-plane patterned sapphiremore » substrates (PSS) were all investigated in the final 18 months of this program. Excellent epitaxy quality was achieved on all three candidates; however we eliminated engineered substrates and non-c-plane sapphire because of their higher combined cost of substrate, device fabrication and packaging. Ultimately, by fabricating a flip-chip (FC) LED based upon c-plane PSS we attained a 42% reduction in LED manufacturing cost relative to our LUXEON Rebel product (Q1-2012). Combined with a flux gain from 85 to 102 Lm, the LUXEON Q delivered a 210% increase in Lm/$ over this time period. The technology was commercialized in our LUXEON Q product in Sept., 2013. Also, the retention of the sapphire increased the robustness of the device, enabling sales of low-cost submount-free chips to lighting manufacturers. Thus, blue LED die sales were initiated in the form of a PSS-FC in February, 2013.« less
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OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Philips Lumileds Lighting Company Llc
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Country of Publication:
United States