move toward general lighting if the government steps in, coordinates the forces in the industry, and leads it to that goal. Lighting requires research programs that are longer term than industry can afford.

Dr. Thompson agreed that the industry is doing the best it can, given the technical challenges. He added that display and lighting applications differ in costs. While the display industry wants lower costs, the lighting industry absolutely has to have them.

OLEDs versus Solar Panels

A questioner asked whether the lighting industry use available thin-film solar cell technology, especially for OLEDs. Dr. Thompson agreed that the best OLEDs are based on the same concepts as thin film solar cells, but he noted an important difference. If an OLED loses 5 percent of its efficiency to creeping decay and dark spot formation, it is ruined; if a solar cell loses 5 percent if its efficiency, it simply produces 5 percent less electricity.

The Argument for a Government Role

Mr. Trimble commented that if the United States wanted to create the success for OLEDs that it achieved for the semiconductor and computer industries, the government must play a similar role; that is, the government must generate a market for panels by announcing large procurement goals for lighting panels, say, a million square feet. This, he said, would do more than anything else to focus attention on this valuable technology.

Dr. Duclos agreed on the need for a government-led effort like SEMATECH, as well as more infrastructure research in the national labs and basic research by academic scientists and engineers. He noted that General Electric is working with the help of its Department of Energy grant to produce a 2-foot-square OLED panel on glass with the same efficiency as incandescent light. He expressed gratitude to the Department of Energy for its support. Dr. Chipalkatti and Mr. van Slyke agreed that even the largest private companies cannot afford all the research necessary to bring OLED lighting to market quickly, and that a “lighting SEMATECH” is required.

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