Printed Electronic Film Construction for SSL

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

441 E. Roosevelt, Suite 50
Zeeland, MI 49464
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


High material costs and high manufacturing costs have been identified as one of the critical barriers that are slowing the adoption of Solid State Lighting. A 2012 Department of Energy report estimated that Solid-State Lighting has the potential to reduce electric energy consumed by lighting from 694TWh in 2010 to 375TWh in 2030. Overcoming the materials and manufacturing cost barriers in order to accelerate adoption therefore represents a significant potential opportunity for the United States. Construction concepts that eliminate unnecessary materials and process should be investigated as they can lead to reduced costs, faster speed to market and potentially greater product design flexibility. This optimization approach was highlighted by the Department of Energy in the September 2013 Solid State Lighting Roadmap as one of three critical methods that can be used to help drive cost reduction. Printed film technologies can also be leveraged to help achieve this goal, but currently they are incapable of conducting enough current or managing the thermal energy generated by electronic components necessary for Solid State Lighting solutions. This project will focus on improving electronic film constructions so that they can support the electrical current and thermal energy levels necessary for Solid State Lighting applications. New materials and construction techniques for printed films will be used to achieve the required performance specifications. Additionally, the combination of printed films and injection over molding will result in a highly integrated product construction that reduces both the number of components and the required assembly time. Commercial Applications or Other Benefits: The commercial applications include Solid State Lighting products for both commercial and consumer markets. The Proposed new construction would reduce the cost of these products and increase their value through added flexibility of the design. The cost would be reduced by the elimination of printed circuit board material, secondary mounting features, secondary electromechanical interconnects and all of their corresponding process and supply chains in comparison to traditional printed circuit board based solutions. Design flexibility is increased by allowing the electronics and LEDs to be embedded across three dimensional form factors. Other benefits include the elimination of hazardous waste generated in the manufacture of PCBs.