Lighting consumes roughly 22 percent of United States electricity, a roughly $50 billion per year cost to the U.S. consumer. Solid-state lighting (SSL) is an emerging technology with the potential to reduce that energy consumption by a factor of 3–6 times. Despite a decade’s enormous progress, however, SSL remains a factor of 5–10 times away from this potential. Sandia’s Solid-State Lighting Science (SSLS) Center, a DOE Office of Science (SC) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), will accelerate advances in this fundamental science by exploring energy conversion in tailored photonic structures. Drawing on Sandia’s long history of SSL R&D, and working closely with its university and industry partners, the SSLS EFRC will
- work to understand the mechanisms and defects in SSL semiconductor materials that presently limit the energy efficiency;
- investigate conversion of electricity to light using radically new designs, such as luminescent nanowires, quantum dots, and hybrid architectures; and
- study energy conversion processes in structures whose sizes are even smaller than the wavelength of light.
Vehicle Technology programs at Sandia share a common goal: reducing dependence on petroleum-based fuels and developing sustainable alternative fuels and increased efficiency of vehicle technologies.