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Momentive Awarded $4.5M
Nov 2009
ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2009 – The US Department of Energy (DoE) has granted Momentive Performance Materials $4.5 million to develop crystal growth technology aimed at accelerating low-cost mass production of LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL).

LED lights can consume 75 percent less energy and have a longer lifetime than common lighting options, but LED-based lighting is currently more expensive to produce than conventional lighting.

“We are honored to be among the first recipients of this innovative funding program and its inspiring mission of working toward a low-cost, secure and low-carbon energy future for the US,” said Eric Thaler, Momentive’s chief technology officer. “The grant will allow us to help develop the commercial-scale technology, processes and equipment needed for the cost-effective mass production of energy-efficient LEDs. This, in turn, should help facilitate a game-changing transition from current lighting technology to solid-state lighting in this country and the rest of the world. The transition to LED-based SSL would have enormous impact on everyday life, from substantial energy savings to revolutionary design and applications in general illumination.”

The DoE has estimated that by 2025, with appropriate R&D funding, the displacement of incandescent and fluorescent lighting sources with SSL could result in a 29 percent decrease in national energy consumption for lighting. In addition to being more energy-efficient, LED-based lighting is also more versatile than conventional lighting, as it can be integrated into a variety of structures, components and design elements for innovative and widespread use.

Based on Momentive’s platform technology and initiated by Momentive, the two-year energy research project brings together a team of companies specializing in ammonothermal bulk gallium-nitride (GaN) crystal growth technology, high-pressure/high-temperature reactor development, and LED device testing and development.

Collaborating with Momentive on the project are Soraa Inc. and Advanced Photonic Crystals LLC.

Soraa was co-founded by world-leading experts in GaN materials and devices. Advanced Photonic Crystals LLC is an onshore manufacturer of innovative laser and optical crystals, specializing in high-pressure autoclave engineering and crystal growth.

Momentive’s winning proposal is among the 1 percent of ambitious research projects selected to receive funding after a review by the DoE of approximately 3700 submissions.

To learn more about the DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funding program, please visit  

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
Advanced Photonic CrystalsBusinessConsumercrystal growth technologyDOEEmploymentEric ThalerGaN crystal growth technologygreen photonicsLED-based solid state lightinglight sourcesmass-produced LEDsMomentive Awarded $4.5MMomentive Performance Materialsnational energy consumptionNews & Featuresopticsphotonicsphotonics.comResearch & TechnologySoraaSSLUS Department of EnergyLEDslasers

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