RTI International’s innovative nanofiber lighting technology has been honored with a 2011 R&D 100 Award. Established in 1963 by the editors of R&D Magazine, the annual R&D 100 Awards identify the 100 most significant, newly introduced research and development advances of the past year in multiple disciplines.
RTI’s technology was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which supports research and development in solid-state lighting, a technology that uses highly energy-efficient semiconductors. At the core of RTI’s invention is an advanced polymer nanofiber structure – a resilient material thinner than a human hair – which allows engineers to adjust the color palette of the light (or color rendering) to match the desired application. Powered by a blue light-emitting diode (LED), the RTI device produces a well-balanced white light that uses far less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and provides the basis for higher energy efficiency in a wide range of lighting types.
In fact, LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs) have the potential to be ten times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times longer. Through competitive solicitations, the Department of Energy invests in projects that advance core R&D goals, develop new products, and expand domestic manufacturing. DOE funding leverages additional private sector funding in these projects.
The Department’s investments to advance solid-state lighting help accelerate the adoption of these technologies by reducing costs, enhancing product quality and performance, and saving energy and money for consumers. They also play an important role in encouraging U.S.-based manufacturing of solid-state lighting products, creating jobs, and promoting America’s role as a global leader in energy efficiency.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE’s support of research and development of energy-efficient lighting, and visit our Energy Savers lighting choices website to start saving money by saving energy.