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OSRAM Research Team
Wins German Future Prize

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH Press Release FlashlightNews.org - 12/31/2007

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German Future Prize for 2007 was awarded specifically for thin-film chip technology and its application in the OSTAR® family of LEDs


German Future Prize 2007

German Future Prize 2007

REGENSBURG, Germany - For outstanding research work on innovative lighting technologies, Dr. Klaus Streubel and Dr. Stefan Illek from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, together with Dr. Andreas Bräuer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, were awarded this year’s prize for technology and innovation from the President of Germany. The German Future Prize for 2007 was awarded specifically for thin-film chip technology and its application in the OSTAR® family of LEDs.

Thin-film technology is the key to producing LED chips of extremely high brightness and also enables them to be packed tightly together to create a large illuminating surface. High-efficiency light emitting diodes from OSRAM that are based on this innovative technology will open up new applications ranging from mini projectors and rear projection televisions to night vision systems in vehicles and general room lighting. LEDs can already be used, for example, in the headlights and taillights of automobiles, providing excellent visibility and giving automobile manufacturers enormous freedom to create new designs.

For the 2007 German Future Prize awarded by the German President Horst Köhler, the judges were looking not only for exceptional technical, engineering and scientific achievements, but also for practical applications, marketability and job creation. “We are proud of the fact that our creativity and determination will speed up the triumphal march of LED lighting,” said Dr. Klaus Streubel, the spokesman for the winning team.

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The German Future Prize is the most prestigious award for research and development in Germany and was presented this year for the eleventh time. “OSRAM has been producing pioneering innovations for many many years. And we are intensifying our efforts every year. This is a magnificent achievement for the team and OSRAM as a whole,” said Martin Goetzeler, CEO of OSRAM. “This year’s award by the German President confirms our position as an innovation driver and is also wonderful recognition of all the hard work done by our employees,” said Dr. Rüdiger Müller, CEO of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.

The technical innovation of the OSTAR® light emitting diode is the ideal combination of different technologies, namely a new production process for high-power chips, a perfectly matched package platform and special optics developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Optics and Precision Engineering. “With these technologies we have achieved a particularly high luminance for LEDs in all colors and also for infrared light – this is a truly groundbreaking innovation,” said Dr. Klaus Streubel.

Light emitting diodes consist of semiconductor crystals that are grown on a substrate as part of the production process. Up to now, this substrate remained in place at the end of the production process and absorbed a large proportion of the light generated by the chip. Now thanks to thin-film technology developed by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, this is no longer the case. The top of the layer that generates the light is first coated with metal. This metalled side is then soldered onto a thin carrier material and functions as a reflector. The original substrate is then removed. All that is left is a thin light-generating layer that is so close to the surface that the light emitting diode emits almost all its light upward. This results in a huge boost in brightness. The OSTAR® packages have been designed to take full advantage of the thin-film chips.

These development activities have been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

For more information, please visit www.osram-os.com/german-future-prize-2007.

About OSRAM Opto Semiconductors

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg is a wholly owned subsidiary of OSRAM, one of the two leading lighting manufacturers in the world. It offers its customers solutions based on semiconductor technology for lighting, sensing and visualization applications. The company employs more than 3,600 people worldwide and operates sites in Regensburg (Germany), Santa Clara (USA) and Penang (Malaysia). Sales for the fiscal year ending September 2006 totaled more than EUR 500 million. For more information, visit www.OSRAM-os.com.

OSTAR® is a trademark of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Inc.