In the future, solid-state electro-optical devices based on new materials are likely to become capable of producing white light for general building illumination at significantly higher efficiencies than existing conventional light sources, with potential energy cost savings of up to $100 B per year. DOE Office of Building Technologies is presently sponsoring a joint industry/national lab/university technology roadmapping project on developing high efficiency LEDs and laser diodes for this purpose. If successful, the initiative would fund a multi-year research and development effort, the Solid-State Lighting Initiative. Sandia is currently coordinating the roadmapping effort with the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association under sponsorship of the DOE, and will likely play a significant role in the Initiative, for example, in establishing the fundamental science and technology base needed in order for this vision of ultra-efficient solid state illumination to become a reality.
Research in this area includes improvements in nitride and phosphide based growth chemistry, reactor design, and light emitting devices including LEDs and VCSELS in the green, blue, and UV.