German consortium plans to shrink LED optics

March 27, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Coordinated by Osram Opto Semiconductors, German research project "IBELIVE" (a German acronym for Innovative Hybrid Diffusers for Low-Profile Lighting Systems with Tailored Light Distribution) gathers research partners including Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, TEMICON and Continental, with a special focus on miniaturizing LEDs' optical components.

Starting last October, Osram Opto Semiconductors has been working on the development of extremely compact and low-profile optical components for data visualization or illumination. The purpose of the IBELIVE project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), is to investigate and deliver flexible design and manufacturing processes for space-critical applications for data visualization or illumination.

Project partners aim to directly address a number of different markets, including compact and powerful head-up projection displays, ultra-thin camera flashes and selective direct display backlighting. The defined objective of the consortium is to develop particularly compact multifunctional optical components as a way to significantly reduce the profile of LED-based lighting solutions. While LED die packaging has already reached a great level of miniaturization, the partners still see a great potential for miniaturizing the optics. A reduction in the thickness of the optical elements combined with novel optical functionalities designed within a microstructure is expected to give designers much greater flexibility in components integration. Such optimized LED components could also see their energy efficiency improved, as a much greater proportion of the generated light would be focused for the applications.