Philips and Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter renew successful LED research partnership

January 22, 2014

Eindhoven, the Netherlands – The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), which is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Philips, the global leader in lighting, will renew their joint research programme into extra efficient LED light sources with a new continuous Industrial Partnership Programme (IPP). Both parties signed the new agreement on Tuesday January 21, 2014.

In the Industrial Partnership Programme, FOM will link academic knowledge to industrial ambitions, by undertaking cutting-edge physics research in collaboration with companies. FOM and Philips have been working together since 2005 in an IPP focused on light research, which has been carried out by a research group of FOM institute AMOLF within Philips. The research has already yielded more than fifty scientific publications in top journals and ten patent applications. The collaboration between FOM and Philips will now be continued in the new programme 'Nanophotonics for solid-state lighting', both at the FOM-institute AMOLF within Philips and with other participating AMOLF research groups.

Under the IPP collaboration, FOM and Philips will both invest 400,000 euros per year in fundamental nanophotonics research. The programme will be evaluated on a regular basis.

More efficient light sources
The research group involved, led by AMOLF researcher prof.dr. Jaime Gómez Rivas, is specialised in research into the interaction between nanomaterials and light (nanophotonics). Scientists can use this knowledge to strongly influence and improve the emission of solid-state light sources, e.g. increase the efficiency of LEDs. Apart from metals, the researchers will also study the interaction with other materials such as glass.

Within the current IPP, the group of Gómez Rivas has already achieved groundbreaking results in the field of nanophotonics, which are important for Phillips as well. For example, Gómez Rivas and his colleagues combined the phosphorus in white LEDs with aluminium nanoparticles, as a result of which the LEDs acquired a light intensity up to sixty times greater in certain directions.

"That was a highly promising result that clearly shows the opportunities nanophotonics can provide for solid-state light sources. In the new programme, we will apply fundamental knowledge to nanofabricated materials. That will allow us to achieve unparalleled efficiency for LEDs", expects Gómez Rivas.

Henk van Houten, General Manager Philips Research, underlines the importance of these findings: “The results of this fundamental research have brought completely new lighting possibilities for LEDs within reach. Although the further elaboration of the work cannot be predicted yet, we nevertheless expect that in a few years’ time nanophotonics will have become an integral part of LED-based lighting systems.”

Combining knowledge
Both parties are looking forward to the continued collaboration. "FOM is really pleased that a company like Phillips wants to commit itself to a partnership for a longer period of time. It is not only a recognition of the quality of our researchers; such long-term public-private partnerships also have an added value for both innovation and science", says Wim van Saarloos, director of FOM.

The group of Gómez Rivas works at both AMOLF's Center for Nanophotonics in Amsterdam and the laboratories of Philips Research in Eindhoven. There they work closely with the Photonic Materials and Devices research group of Hans van Sprang, Department Head Philips Research. In this new programme, other AMOLF groups will also contribute to the research. FOM and Philips therefore expect to create an optimal cross-fertilization between the broad fundamental base of AMOLF and industrial expertise of Philips.

* Published in journal Light: Science & Applications from Nature Publishing Group on May 10, 2013)

Laser laboratory of Philips Research in Eindhoven

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For further information, please contact:

Santa van der Laarse
Philips Group Communications
Gabby Zegers
Communication FOM Foundation
+31 (0)30 600 12 08 

The other participating AMOLF groups are led by prof.dr. Kobus Kuipers, prof.dr. Albert Polman,prof.dr. Femius Koenderink, dr. Ewold Verhagen en dr. Erik Garnett..

About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 114,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


About FOM

 The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) promotes fundamental physics research in the Netherlands. FOM's activities serve the common good as well as the interests of higher education and industry. FOM is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).