November 2, Jeff Tsao, Sandia Labs

in Fall 2012
May 28th, 2012


3:00 PM in Room 210, 8 St. Mary’s Street

Refreshments served at 2:45 PM

Ultra-Efficient Solid-State Lighting: Likely Characteristics, Economic Benefits, Technological Approaches

Abstract: Technologies for artificial lighting have made tremendous progress over the centuries. At this point in time, there is virtually no question that solid-state lighting (SSL) will eventually displace its predecessor technologies [Haitz, 2011b].  A remaining question, however, is what the final efficiency of SSL will be.  In this talk, we give a perspective on the future of SSL, with a focus on ultra-high [Phillips, 2007] (>70%) efficiencies.  We ask, and sketch answers to, three questions.  First, what are some of the likely characteristics of ultra-efficient SSL?  Second, what are some of the economic benefits of ultra-efficient SSL?  And, third, what are some of the challenges associated with various possible technological approaches to ultra-efficient SSL?

Biography: Jeff Tsao is a graduate of Stanford University (AB in Mathematics, MS in Electrical Engineering) and Harvard University (MS, PhD in Applied Physics).  He is currently a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, and Chief Scientist of its Energy Frontier Research Center for Solid-State-Lighting Science. From 1981 to 1991, he was research staff at MIT-Lincoln Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, where he studied laser microchemistry, ultrafast laser annealing of semiconductors, and molecular beam epitaxy. From 1991 to 2001, he was a research manager at Sandia National Laboratories and E2O Communications, where he built teams and programs in the area of “smart” compound semiconductor epitaxy and complex heterostructure devices for high-speed communications. From 2001 to the present (2012), he has been at Sandia National Laboratories as research staff, where he co-authored white papers and reports with an aim to influence larger national and global research directions.  He helped the DOE Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy coordinate a number of workshops and roadmaps in various areas of energy science and technology.  He was an early advocate for (and pioneer in) solid-state lighting, a technology now poised to transform how the world consumes 20% of its electricity.  Along the way, he has outlined new and counterintuitive ways of thinking about the energy economics of lighting.


Faculty Host:  Theodore Moustakas

Student Host: Denis Nothern