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Lighting accounts for approximately 30% of US electricity use. Work within EECS at MIT aims to replace inefficient light sources with efficient solid state light emitting devices. The potential benefit is significant. For example, applications requiring high quality light sources (with color rendering indices above 90) presently employ incandescent bulbs with power efficiencies of only 15-20 lm/W.
Organic Light Emitting Devices
We are fabricating very high efficiency organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) with power efficiencies exceeding 24 lm/W. To obtain light emission from all excited states within the devices, we employ either phosphorescence, a technique that we helped pioneer, or our new technique called extraflourescence, which employs spin mixing to enhance efficiencies. In addition, we have performed detailed optical modeling and techniques that allow enhanced light coupling out of our OLEDs. Read more about this work at: http://softsemi.mit.edu/Research.
Quantum Dot Light Emitting Devices
We are developing white-light emitting quantum dot LEDs (QD-LEDs) for use as planar white-light sources in future solid-state lighting. Our white QD-LEDs consist of organic charge transport layers with a QD monolayer sandwiched between them. By mixing various amounts of high quantum yield QDs, we demonstrate white QD-LEDs with color coordinates that vary only slightly with applied bias. Read more about this work at: http://www.rle.mit.edu/organic/.
The prevalence of electric discharge illumination has led us to consider ways to inexpensively use discharge lamps to enhance energy savings in buildings, both through lighting optimization and through "non-conventional" uses of the ubiquitous fluorescent lamp fixture. We are exploring a wide range of research to add functionality and energy savings to the lighting infrastructure. For example, we have developed a proximity sensing lamp ballast that can detect the presence of people near the light. The ballast can automatically dim and brighten lighting as people move through a building. In sparsely populated areas, a person travels in a "pool" of light. We are also developing ballasts that modulate the arc in a lamp, permitting the lamp to transmit information optically while retaining conventional illumination capability.
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