OSRAM and the Fraunhofer Institute: lighting technology for the future

Light emitting diodes in the “Hall of Fame” in the Deutsches Museum

Regensburg, (PresseBox) - .
- Honor for the winners of the German Future Prize

The winning project for the German Future Prize 2007, "Light from crystals - light emitting diodes are conquering our everyday lives", has been accepted for a permanent display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The award-winning technologies from the research team headed by Dr. Klaus Streubel of OSRAM and including development partners from the Fraunhofer Institute in Jena are now on display to the public in the "Hall of Fame" for the German Future Prize.

This special exhibition is devoted exclusively to all the winners of the German Future Prize, the award sponsored by the German President for outstanding technical innovations. Ministry Director Cornelia Quennet-Thielen of the Federal President s Office and Prof. Wolfgang M. Heckl, General Director of the Deutsches Museum, opens the display to the general public in the presence of the prize winners Dr. Klaus Streubel and Dr. Stefan Illek, both of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, and Dr. Andreas Bräuer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering. The team has now been added to the list of prize winners since 1997. Under the title of "The German Future Prize - success from ideas", the museum is presenting detailed information on all ten innovations and technologies that have so far won the prize. The exhibition is being organized by the Office of the Federal President, the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft as the agency for the German Future Prize, and the Deutsches Museum.

The research team received the most important technology prize in Germany for its outstanding achievements in the development of thin-film technology and for the application of this technology in the manufacture of high-power light emitting diodes. "The chips as the brilliant core of the LED can be placed closer to one another in a package thanks to this new technology, without the problem of outshining each other. They emit all their light at the top. No light is lost, in contrast to other light sources that emit light in all directions", said Dr. Klaus Streubel, spokesman for the winning team. The tiny but powerful OSTAR light emitting diodes (each of their chips has an area of only 1 mm²) are based on thin-film technology and have the potential to bring about a permanent change in general lighting.

With thin-film technology as the key innovation it is now possible to manufacture light emitting diodes that outperform conventional LEDs in terms of efficiency, output and luminous intensity. Because they combine tiny dimensions, energy savings and high output, light emitting diodes will be used in more and more areas of our everyday lives. They are now to be seen in street lamps, reading lights, projectors and automobile headlights. Luminous glass and wallpaper that doubles as a light source may still be some way off but this vision of the future has moved a good deal closer thanks to thin-film technology. Dr. Rüdiger Müller, CEO at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, commented: "This is a major trend for the future. We have here a highly controllable light source with a broad spectrum of design options for industry and for everyday life".

In the exhibition at the Deutsches Museum all the innovations are displayed and explained in detail with films, descriptions and exhibits. Background information on the German Future Prize highlights the economic and social importance of the winning inventions. "We are immensely proud to be represented in Germany s most prestigious science and engineering museum. The exhibition on the German Future Prize has succeeded in making such a complex subject as the generation of light with LEDs so interesting and accessible. Visitors will gain an excellent insight into the principles behind the technology and its significance for the future of light", said Martin Goetzeler, CEO of OSRAM.

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