The RSA "Green Photonics - Solutions for a Sustainable Life with Light" has formed the central objective to use the "light" as a tool to promote the development of new energy- and resource-efficient technologies and support efforts to bring them into industrial production.
Photonics has been identified by the EU in the spring of 2011 as one of five Key Enabling Technologies of the future. The segment of "Green Photonics" combines applications for generating and saving energy, reducing greenhouse gases and the efficient generation of light. The associated technologies include photovoltaics, light emitting diode (LED) illumination, optical sensors, and energy-efficient communication technologies as well as energy- and resource-efficient laser production processes.
Having a closer look on these technologies, it becomes clear that these seemingly different topics have a number of similarities. LED technology and photovoltaics, for example, are both semiconductor technologies and in both cases optics and optoelectronics play an important role. In addition, the next few years will bring a variety of innovations. The small size and compact design of LEDs and solar cells (especially of CPV) will reveal completely new possibilities for their integration in many application areas (self-powered lighting systems, medical technology, sensor technology, traffic engineering and communication technologies). Combined with an appropriate lighting management, this opens up completely new approaches and strategies for technological developments and new products.
The RSA Green Photonics aims to focus in particular on the computer-aided design and simulation of optical structures for the optimization of LED light sources, light energy conversion systems and indoor climate optical monitors. In addition, optimization of the system integration is planned in an application-oriented manner. One goal is to also reduce the overall size of the systems and, in turn, save both materials and resources. In addition to designing such optical structures by means of optical simulations, another goal of the RSA Green Photonics is to develop new approaches toward their resource-efficient production. Examples of this are the production of (micro) optical structures by means of additive processes such as aerosol-jet printing, or the production of large-area replication tools by means of laser technology.