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Title: Scalable, Economical Fabrication Processes for Ultra-Compact Warm-White LEDs

Conventional warm-white LED component fabrication consists of a large number of sequential steps which are required to incorporate electrical, mechanical, and optical functionality into the component. Each of these steps presents cost and yield challenges which multiply throughout the entire process. Although there has been significant progress in LED fabrication over the last decade, significant advances are needed to enable further reductions in cost per lumen while not sacrificing efficacy or color quality. Cree conducted a focused 18-month program to develop a new low-cost, high-efficiency light emitting diode (LED) architecture enabled by novel large-area parallel processing technologies, reduced number of fabrication steps, and minimized raw materials use. This new scheme is expected to enable ultra-compact LED components exhibiting simultaneously high efficacy and high color quality. By the end of the program, Cree fabricated warm-white LEDs with a room-temperature “instant on” efficacy of >135 lm/W at ~3500K and 90 CRI (when driven at the DOE baseline current density of 35 A/cm2). Cree modified the conventional LED fabrication process flow in a manner that is expected to translate into simultaneously high throughput and yield for ultra-compact packages. Building on its deep expertise in LED wafer fabrication, Cree developed these ultra-compact LEDs tomore » have no compromises in color quality or efficacy compared to their conventional counterparts. Despite their very small size, the LEDs will also be robustly electrically integrated into luminaire systems with the same attach yield as conventional packages. The versatility of the prototype high-efficacy LED architecture will likely benefit solid-state lighting (SSL) luminaire platforms ranging from bulbs to troffers. We anticipate that the prototype LEDs will particularly benefit luminaires with large numbers of distributed compact packages, such as linear and area luminaires (e.g. troffers). The fraction of total SSL luminaire cost made up by the LEDs themselves has steadily fallen over the past several years, but can still make up 30% or more of the bill of materials; the new LED design will radically lower this proportion. Ultra-compact, highly efficient LEDs with optimal distribution in the system will further benefit luminaire materials and assembly costs by reducing the complexity and volume of thermal management and optical subsystems.« less
  1. Cree, Inc., Durham, NC (United States)
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Technical Report
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Cree, Inc., Durham, NC (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States