An August 2014 report prepared for the Department of Energy estimated energy personal savings of $1.8 billion a year ago from utilization of solid state lighting.
The various technologies define solid state lighting differ. But they all depend upon light-emitting diodes to make light from the electronic excitation of a semiconductor material. Light-emitting diodes also provide applications in flat panel displays, optical components and films.
Pixelligent, a Maryland company, manufactures and produces advanced materials that can be used in solid state lighting. Pixelligent is taking care of a process that will increase the sunlight-emitting efficiency of various materials by making use of tiny clusters of atoms, called nanocrystals, on the material's surface. Nanocrystals are strong and clear, and they also increase light and also heat efficiency.
Pixelligent's story illustrates the role the federal government can play in promoting research and technologies through public-private funding, particularly for capital intensive projects, including developing extremely effective lighting, high exists a public interest to support those technology.
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Craig Bandes can be an entrepreneur, not just a scientist. Bandes has over two decades of experience being a CEO, entrepreneur and investor. He builds companies inside technology, defense and professional services industries.
Bandes has become Chief Executive Officer and President of Pixelligent since 2009, 12 months after he helped the corporation emerge successfully coming from a reorganization process and refocused its product strategy.
The company received an $8 million grant from your National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within now-defunct program ' the Technology Innovation Program (TIP), just as the business started to hunt for credibility after its bankruptcy reorganization.
That $8 million grant this season not only provided an origin of funding, it helped Pixelligent establish credibility with eco-friendly. They started taking a closer look with the technology, Bandes said. Pixelligent has raised nearly $18 million in equity funding since 2008 when Bandes joined the corporation.
'You've heard a lot about the government picking winners and losers. The NIST TIP program supported winners,' Bandes said. 'You required to show up having a large commercial partner.'
Pixelligent has brought other federal grants for work with cutting edge solid state lighting research. Since 2009, if it reorganized, the company may be awarded over $9 million in federal grants, and contains entered into numerous product-development partnerships with technology leaders and Fortune 100 companies.
From Pixelligent's birth in 2000 until 2011, the organization operated out of the University of Maryland's incubator program for technology companies. Pixelligent now employees 32 people with a state-of-the art pilot manufacturer in Baltimore.
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In June 2014, the Department of Energy announced that it had awarded $10.5 million in competitive grants to nine solid state lighting technology projects. Pixelligent's work to increase the 'light extraction efficiency of OLED lighting devices,' was one of many nine projects.
Pixellegent completed the paperwork to discover the grant award last week, a business spokesperson said. This Pixellegent grant award represents only a fraction of the financial incentives the Department of Energy and also other federal agencies provide each year in promoting solid state lighting and related research and technology.
During yesteryear several years, the Department of Energy has funded about $25 million annually for solid state lighting projects and consumer education.
When Pixelligent's novel Zirconia nanomaterials are integrated into end-products, the ability for light as well as heat to move through various materials without losing energy increases.
Zirconia nanocrystals have some of possible applications: lubricants, solar panels and solid state lighting for example. These nanocrystals boost the light emitting efficiency of various materials. In other words, more light escapes from the material and so uses less energy.
A company spokesperson said, 'Pixelligent achieves the best dispersions by way of a combination of proprietary nanocrystal synthesis, the place that the size and shape of their nanocrystals and capping methodologies are controlled.'
'Pixelligent's capping methodology enables it to control the surface chemistry from the nanocrystal, where materials are chemically bonded on the nanocrystals which might be compatible with the mark solvents, polymers and oils. This capping process is one of the key reasons Pixelligent's nanocomposites are highly loaded, perfectly dispersed, and fully scalable.'
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Today, OLEDs operate approximately a 25-35 percent efficiency in terms with the ability of light emitted from the diodes to get out. By using nanocrystals, Pixelligent wants to increase that efficiency to 50-70 percent.
LEDs for lighting have an established market ' about $25-$27 billion ' while OLEDs for lighting have the potential to grow to about $2 billion by 2019, Bandes said. It is one reason federal government grants are so crucial that you technology. That five-year fork out period may be too long for eco-friendly, Bandes said.
In DOE's June 2014 announcement of the competitive grant award to Pixelligent, a DOE website article said, Pixelligent is working '[to] develop a novel internal light extraction (ILE) design to enhance the light extraction efficiency of OLED lighting devices to 70% without negatively impacting these devices voltage, efficacy, or angular color dependence. The innovative structure is founded on proprietary sub-10 nm ZrO2 nanocrystals as a high refractive index additive for polymer systems.'
Pixelligent is taking care of processes that could make energy extremely effective. But it takes time and money. The government has received a role in supporting this technology.
When we talk on the telephone about federal grants along with their role in supporting LED and OLED technology, Bandes is emphatic that grants help spur innovation. 'Without [DOE funding] manufacturers like Pixelligent would not be able to formulate next generation lighting technology,' he said.
'We are capable of put our nanocrystal dispersions onto OLED panels as well as LED chips and increase the index of refraction to get more light out,' Bandes said.
Federal grants help businesses that research and develop critical technology programs be able to market. In four to five years, this work could contribute to breakthroughs learn how to efficiency, along with other applications, Bandes said.