NNCrystal's new material revolution: Silicon-based remote excitation technology

[Source: "High-tech LED - Research Review" October issue Tang Guirong]

As the gross profit margin of the LED industry declines, most companies are still striving to save raw materials and reduce operating costs in order to reduce costs. However, some companies with long-term visions have already believed that with the improvement of chip quality, light efficiency is no longer a problem. In the future, LEDs will replace traditional light sources more depending on the quality of light.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hangzhou Najing Technology Co., Ltd., NNCrystal US Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “NNCrystal”) launched a quantum luminescent material-based optical device for the LED lighting market in 2010. At the 2012 Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, a remote fluorescent light conversion device based on silica gel was introduced, and the customer was successfully applied to the field of LED lighting. Recently, NNCrystal has frequently appeared in the supply systems of major international LED lighting manufacturers.

"The silicone-based remote excitation device can directly convert blue light into high-quality white light to provide efficient optical solutions for LED lighting manufacturers." NUCrystal general manager Su Kai said in an exclusive interview with "High-tech LED" that remote fluorescence The film changes the design concept of the traditional LED light source, and directly controls the color temperature and color rendering index of the light source with a remote fluorescent device. This technology effectively separates the heat generated by the chip from the phosphor, improving the light quality while increasing the light efficiency of the system by 15%-20%.

Based on this, in August 2011, Najing Technology carried out a second round of financing of RMB 60 million for the development and promotion of LED lighting remote fluorescent devices, including quantum dot devices. At present, the LED lighting market accounts for 70% of the company's business.

"Despite the changes in packaging structure and system cost for LED lighting, remote fluorescent devices, whether they can become mainstream, need the joint promotion of supporting enterprises." Su Kai said.

New industry changes

High- tech LED: In fact, with the reduction of the gross profit margin of the LED lighting industry, everyone expects new materials to bring a cost change to the LED industry. What are the benefits and cost advantages of remote fluorescent devices for LED lighting manufacturers?

Su Kai: The biggest advantage of remote excitation is to convert the LED point source into a surface source, increase the uniformity of light and reduce glare. While increasing the angle of illumination, the quality of light is greatly improved. In terms of performance, since the heat generated by the phosphor is effectively separated from the heat generated by the chip, the temperature of the chip can be lowered, and the light efficiency can be improved. Based on these characteristics, when designing the luminaire, it is possible to reduce the heat sink, eliminate the astigmatism plate, reduce the haze of the astigmatism plate or use the transparent blister, which can reduce the cost of the whole lamp. However, due to the increased use of phosphors, at present, the cost can be equal to the white light technology route. However, phosphors are chemical products, and the cost is greatly reduced as the market demand increases. Therefore, remote excitation technology will have more and more cost advantages and performance advantages.

High- tech LED: Although remote fluorescent film can improve light quality and reduce overall cost, as a new technology, it is often used by downstream lighting manufacturers to encounter various suspicions from customers, and many manufacturers are even unwilling to adopt it. How do you plan to promote this technology? How to solve the worries of application vendors?

Su Kai: Remote fluorescence technology has a certain history in the market. With the continuous improvement of LED technology and the improvement of light efficiency in the past one or two years, end users have gradually pursued light efficiency from pursuit of light quality. From the Fortimo series launched by Philips a few years ago to this year's MasterLED, it laid the foundation for the development of the remote excitation technology route. Two years ago, Inter-American launched the Chromalit product, which played an important role in promoting the promotion of LED lighting for the remote excitation technology route. NNCrystal's products are the first silicone-based series of remotely-excited fluorescent devices on the market that can be extended from 90°C to 150°C compared to remote fluorescent devices based on polycarbonate and other organic polymers. The photothermal stability of silica gel has been fully verified in the field of LED packaging. Therefore, our products can be used under high light intensity conditions, and are second-generation products that are remotely excited, which will be more reliable. Our entry will give users more choices, making this route one of the mainstream routes for LED lighting.

Our product positioning is the international market. NNCrystal has two business models: one is to produce and supply silicone remote fluorescent devices according to customer requirements and design; the other is to provide design support for customers and provide a total solution based on remote excitation.

High-tech LED: It is reported that the remote fluorescent device used in the field of LED lighting is a new product that you launched this year. What are your expectations for the market?

Su Kai: The biggest advantage of remote excitation is the high angle bulb, candle light and downlight. Countries around the world have introduced a schedule for the ban on incandescent lamps, and the replacement for 40W and 60W will increase dramatically. The market for compact energy-saving lamps is basically saturated, and the main growth will come from LED lights. Considering that the existing installed incandescent lamps plus energy-saving energy totals more than 10 billion, even if a small part of them is replaced, the market size is extremely impressive.

High-tech LED: Because of the light efficiency and light quality, how much do you think the remote fluorescent film beats the traditional on chip packaging method on the market? What will the future market pattern look like?

Su Kai: Remote fluorescence technology is still a new technology for most LED manufacturers. It takes a while to be widely used. We also know that the world's major LED companies are evaluating this technology. The main reason why LED manufacturers hesitate is that in everyone's impression, the cost of remotely exciting fluorescent devices is relatively high. We are confident to work with material manufacturers to reduce costs and make them a competitive route. Therefore, I believe that the future industrial structure is the coexistence of the two.

High- tech LED: NNCrystal is positioned in nanometer materials. How can it help your LED lighting development from the company level? Or what is the correlation between nanomaterials and LED lighting?

Najing is a material-based high-tech company that has evolved from a pure quantum dot technology to a comprehensive materials company. The application of nanocrystalline nano quantum dot materials in the LED market has been verified. Quantum dot materials have the characteristics of high efficiency, narrow absorption and adjustable emission wavelength, and can replace existing phosphors, especially red powder, so they have extremely broad application prospects in the field of illumination. The new products we are currently focusing on include cadmium-free, high temperature resistant quantum dot materials. The ultimate goal is to be able to directly package quantum dots of various wavelengths into the LEDs and make LEDs similar to the solar spectrum, providing an ultimate solution for LED lighting.

Two rounds of financing

tech LED: Najing Technology was established at the end of 2009. It acquired NN-Labs of the United States and reached its intellectual property rights in the fields of solid-state luminescence, solar energy and medical diagnosis, and established NNCrystal US Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Najing. What can NN-Labs bring to the development of nanotechnology LED lighting?

Su Kai: One of Najing's core technologies is quantum dot luminescent materials. Before Nachi was established, most of the key technologies were developed at the University of Arkansas and NN-labs. We are developing a number of applications based on the basic technology platform of quantum dot materials, such as solid-state lighting, solar energy, and biological testing. We just set up a biometrics company in Beijing that uses quantum dots as markers to detect the elements we want to detect, such as certain additives in food.

Gaogong LED: Najing has carried out two financings, the first is in 2009, the amount is 50 million; the second is in 2011, the amount is 60 million. In fact, financing is a headache for many LED companies. Many LED companies in China, especially upstream enterprises, are in a state of loss. What is your attraction to investors?

Su Kai: For the industry, many investors are in a more cautious state because of the lessons of early investment overheating. The reason for this phenomenon is mainly caused by the large number of enterprises in the LED industry, fierce competition and sharp decline in profit margin.

The general direction of the development of the LED industry at this stage is to improve the efficiency of LED lamps, increase the quality of light, reduce costs, and bring them closer to incandescent lamps. To achieve these goals, component assembly alone is impossible, and breakthroughs must be made in chips, fluorescent materials, and heat dissipation technologies. Because NNCrystal is based on new materials and new technologies, these technologies will bring great changes to the lighting industry, so we have not faced a shortage of funds.

The first round of financing was mainly to develop quantum dot material technology, and the second round of financing was to apply new materials. At present, we mainly focus on LED lighting. The market for luminescence technology based on quantum dots and silica gel has a very broad market prospect. Investors are very trusting and supportive.

Gaogong LED: It is reported that Najing Technology also has a wholly-owned subsidiary, Najing Lighting (NNCL), which is mainly used for LED lighting applications. As a brother company, does Najing Lighting use your remote laser technology? Will you compete with your customers?

Su Kai: NNCrystal is based on optical components, such as silica-based remote fluorescent devices. We believe that the remote excitation technology route is particularly suitable for alternative light sources such as high-angle bulbs. Whether such products are successful in the market or not depends on sales channels, so we need to cooperate with LED lamps with very good channels. To a complementary effect.

NNCL's main business is high-intensity-based lamps, and does not include products that contain remote excitation. Therefore, our customers have no competitive relationship with NNCL in terms of remote stimulation.

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