Imec ITF: Reduce LEDs costs 10x, says Philips Lumileds

Click to EnlargeIn an exclusive series of blogs, imec reports from its International Technology Forum (ITF) last week in Brussels. Els Parton, science editor, imec, shares Jy Bhardwaj’s (Philips Lumileds) points about LEDs costs improvements.
May 31, 2011
— LEDs currently appear in applications where performance — color, brightness, light quality — defines a compelling advantage over conventional light bulbs. A few barriers still stand between LEDs and mass adoption in illumination. "First, there is the cost (lumens per dollar) that has to decrease by a factor 10 if LEDs want to be competitive with conventional bulbs. This 10x cost reduction will be achieved by both performance and cost improvements. More in detail, this will be achieved by increasing the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) at high drive current, by improving the Phosphor conversion and by increasing the wafer size with yield and scale enhancement," Jy Bhardwaj, vice president technology R&D at Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, explains.

The second barrier to be overcome is light quality, states Bhardwaj. How do you achieve a consistent, controllable shade of white? An important research topic to tackle this problem is getting a good control of the phosphorous layer (density and thickness) in the LED stack. "Our company has come up with a new device architecture that enables this. It’s a thin film flip chip architecture for InGaN LEDs,"explains Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj predicts that it will take another 3 years to achieve the desired 10x cost reduction. And by 2020, 80% of our planet’s lighting will come from LED.

Bhardwaj’s colleague Iain Black at Philips Lumileds recently spoke to Solid State Technology’s The ConFab audience about LED manufacturing improvements. Read his points about LED costs improvements via manufacturing here.

Els Parton, science editor, imec, and colleagues are blogging exclusively for Solid State Technology and its partners from imec’s International Technology Forum (ITF) last week in Brussels.


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