Overview of Energy and Lighting Application Area

NB-Photonics is involved in activities leading directly to improved and novel Energy and Lighting devices.

A broad range of NB-Photonics activities exploit the properties of liquid crystals and electro-optic materials. Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are currently dominating the flat panel and mobile display market segment because of their excellent performance in power consumption, contrast ratio, viewing angle and refresh rate. The LCD technology has proven itself as relatively low-cost and ultimately scalable with screen diagonals that may exceed 100 inch. Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) microdisplays are miniature liquid crystal devices on a silicon substrate that operate in a reflective mode in contrast to the conventional transmissive LCDs.

Reducing the pixel dimensions is conceptually a straightforward approach to further increase the resolution of LCOS devices for a given active area to improve the device performance. Once the structure features approach the light wavelength for decreasing the device pixel size to below 5 µm, there are increased challenges that NB-Photonics members investigate in detail.

NB-Photonics members tackle several important limitations that currently prevent light steering components based on liquid crystals from being applied in many photonic products. Some of the envisaged application domains are light steering for glasses-less multi-viewer 3D displays, more efficient sun-tracking light collection for photovoltaics or active daylighting, and reconfigurable LED luminaires for more efficient light distribution.

Additionally, NB-Photonics has a focus on charge transportation in display devices, e.g. ion transportation, which has important consequences in liquid crystal devices. Also, development activities are carried out on electrophoretic displays, a technology for electronic paper based on electrophoresis. NB-Photonics members are also engaged in efforts to improve optical tweezers.

In another important field of NB-Photonics focus, luminescent materials and quantum dots are actively researched to enhance both efficiency and performance of conversion based light emitting diodes. See more details here.

Technology Platform Links

Technology platforms that facilitate energy and lighting applications directly include Luminescent materialsQuantum Dots, Photonic integration and silicon photonics, and Displays.

Research Theme Links

Research themes in which the programs produce essential knowledge for energy and lighting applications include advanced photonic materials, photonic integration and nano-technologies, and energy efficiency.

NB-Photonics member expertise

Detailed information on the listed experts can be found on the who we are page.

Jeroen Beeckmans
Filip Beunis
Zeger Hens
Kristiaan Neyts
Dirk Poelman
Philippe Smet