Merck is a global healthcare, life sciences and performance materials company based in Germany, with a history that goes back to 1668. The company designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of specialized materials including high performance OLED materials.
Following Mercks' 2005 acquisition of Covion and the 2008 OLED-T acquisition, Merck is supplying OLED materials to several OLED makers including LGD, Samsung and the Fraunhofer FEP (COMEDD). The company's OLED research program focuses on solution-processable materials.
In 2013, we interviewed Dr. Udo Heider, VP of OLED unit at Merck, who updated us on the company's OLED business and materials. In 2016, Merck constructed a €30 Million OLED materials production plant in Darmstadt as the company sees OLED as one of its future growth driver. Merck is collaborating with several companies on OLED technologies, including Seiko Epson and Idemitsu Kosan.
The latest Merck OLED news:
At the OLED Korea conference, both Merck and Sumitomo detailed their latest OLED inkjet material performance.
Merck announced that is has signed a Memorandam of Understanding with China's Visionox to accelerate the development and application of OLED displays. Merck did not provide a lot of details, but it did say that this agreement markets a strategic alliance between Merck and Visionox.
Merck offers a complete portfolio of materials for OLED display and lighting devices - including evaporation and soluble materials suitable for ink jet printing.
Merck opened a new OLED technology center in Shanghai. The new center will provide local customers with tailor-made solutions to enable innovative OLED application development.
Merck says that the new center offers a range of state-of-the-art equipment and clean room facilities that enable OLED device fabrication and characterization.
CSoT details its OLED ink-jet printing plans, collaborates with Kateeva, Sumitomo, Merck, DuPont and Tianma
Last month CSoT (TCL) announced plans to establish a 11-Gen LCD+OLED TV fab in Shenzhen, China. Details on the OLED part of that fab were not given, but now we have some updates following the company's investor day.
The new fab will use Oxide-TFT backplanes, and it turns out that the OLED part of the fab will also use the 11-Gen substrates (which may be cut for the actual OLED front plane deposition). Out of the entire capacity of 90,000 monthly substrates, the OLED line will use 20,000 substrates. The fab will start mass production in 2021.
DSCC lowered its OLED material revenue forecasts, saying that the market is expected to grow at a 25% CAGR from $773 million in 2017 to $2.35 billion in 2022 (down from its previous estimates of $2.56 billion in 2022). The fastest growing (51% CAGR) OLED application will be OLED lighting, which will grow from $12 million in 2017 to $95 million in 2022.
DSCC also published the material stack for Samsung's latest OLEDs (used in the Galaxy S9), which you can see above.
In September 2017, Merck, OLEDWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon launched a new textile-based OLED lighting and OPV installation (called "Do we dream under the same sky") at the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
Merck now brought the same installation to Frankfurt during the Light + Building 2018, and the company also gave us more details about this interesting installation.
Ten Germany-based companies established a new OLED lighting alliance, called the "OLED Licht Forum" that aim to develop and promote OLED lighting technologies through dialogue and expert exchange. The forum will also organize conferences, lectures and institution visits.
The forum was founded by OLEDWorks, OSRAM, Merck, BASF coatings, EMDE, Fraunhofer, Hema electronic, Irlbacher, APEVA and WALO-TL. One of the first activities will be to create an OLED showroom in Germany that will be open to the public.
Germany launched a new project led by Merck to develop quantum materials as light emissive sources. The three-year project is called "Exploration of quantum materials – New paths to realizing innovative optoelectronic components" (ELQ-LED) and it is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by Merck with an aim to conduct basic research on quantum materials as light emitting sources. ELQ-LED is a three-year project that will end on the summer of 2020.
Merck hopes that ELQ-LED materials will enable ultra-pure colors, higher energy efficiency and lower production costs compared to current OLED emitters. The focus of this project will be on cadmium-free quantum materials but the partners will also develop supporting components, processes, transport materials and ink. All components developed in this project will be printable, and the project will test its developments in display prototypes and automotive tail light demonstrators.
Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.
A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system
These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.
Merck, OLEDWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon launched a new textile-based "façade" concept that combines OLED lighting panels and OPV (organic PV panels). The new structure was launched as part of the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
The façade, in which the structure is made from Bamboo, was designed by architects Nikolaus Hirsch, Michel Müller and artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. The same installation will also be delivered to more exhibitions in Germany and Thailand during 2018.