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 drivers. Merck is collaborating with several companies on OLED technologies, including Seiko Epson and Idemitsu Kosan.
The latest Merck OLED news:
DSCC updated its AMOLED material market forecast, saying that the market will reach $1.4 billion in 2021 (up 32% from 2020), and grow at a 16% CAGR from 2019 ($927 million) to 2025, to reach $2.18 billion by 2025.
DSCC takes a look into the material cost for LG Display's WOLED TV panels. LGD will likely manage to implement incremental improvements in material utilization and price, which will enable the company to almost halve the material cost of its TV panels- from $88.14 per sqm in 2019 to $47.19 per sqm by 2025.
Towards the end of 2020, Merck announced that it is expanding its OLED material production site in Korea. The company today announced that HTM production commenced at the site.
Merck is already supplying HTM (Hole Transport Materials) to LGD, to be used in large OLED TV production. Merck is now starting to supply HTM materials for LGD's mobile p-OLED displays as well.
Korea-based OLED materials maker Solus Advanced Materials (previously Doosan Solus) announced that the company will start supplying HTL materials for LG Display, for its E3 line in Paju, used to produce OLED TVs.
According to reports from Korea, up until now Merck was LGD's sole HTL supplier (for large-area WOLED production), and Solus will now replace some of the HTL materials previously supplied by Merck. Solus hopes to expand shipments to LGD and supply HTL materials for LGD's other large-area WOLED fabs.
DSCC posted an interesting post with its latest views and forecasts on the OLED material market. The company expects AMOLED stack material sales to grow at a 18% CAGR in the next five years, from $294 million in 2019 to $2.46 billion in 2024. Compared to its previous estimate, DSCC sees higher sales as demand for OLED TVs and OLEDs in the IT market (tablets and notebooks) is increasing.
DSCC also posted an analysis of LGD's new evo OLED material stack. Compared to LGD's "standard" WOLED stack, the evo adds an emitting green layer to improve the brightness by 20%. This of course adds an extra material cost to the panel price.
Last month we reported that Merck is expanding its OLED laboratories in Shanghai. Today Merck released a formal PR and details its latest plans in Asia.
Merck says that it will invest 26 million Euro ($23.6 million USD) to expand its OLED manufacturing capacities at the Pyeongtaek (Korea) and Shanghai sites.
In 2018 Merck opened an OLED technology center in Shanghai, that includes laboratories to enable device fabrication and characterization for local Chinese-based OLED customers.
It is now reported that Merck is investing $26 million to expand the OLED laboratories and build an OLED material plant in the area. The new plant will start production by the end of 2022.
Samsung Display has developed a 18.2" 2560x1440 202 PPI inkjet-printed OLED display, that features the highest current efficiency of any inkjet-printed OLED, with the brightness at 350 cd/m2 (full white).
Samsung Display says that the high brightness was achieved by tuning the top-emission device structure with high performance soluble materials. The high pixel resolution was achieved by modulating the jetting waveform for ejecting ink drops and improving the drop placement accuracy by selecting the right ink formulations in terms of viscosities and surface energies.
DSCC updated its OLED material market estimates, saying that AMOLED stack material sales will grow from $951 million in 2019 to $2.69 billion in 2024 - a CAGR of 23%. These new estimates take into account DSCC's reduced input area forecast due to the slowdown in demand cased by the Covid-19 pandemic.
DSCC says that incremental improvements in material utilization and price reductions, material costs per square meters will decline in the future. The unyielded cost of producing a square meter of a WOLED TV panel will decline from $95.21 in 2019 to $56.11 in 2024.
Merck announced that it has acquired over 700 OLED display applications patent families from Konica Minolta. The acquired IP will be used to "further enhance Merck’s position as key supplier of OLED materials".
Merck did not detail the financial terms of this deal.
Universal Display and Merck announced that the two companies will collaborate on OLED research and development. The two companies will join their know-how to accelerate the development of new products.
This joint development program brings together UDC's leading-edge phosphorescent OLED emitters with Merck's state-of-the-art transport materials. The objective is to develop higher performing OLED stacks for OLED manufacturers around the world.