LG Chem acquires DuPont's soluble OLED IP and technologies

LG Chem has acquired DuPont's soluble OLED technologies an assets, in a deal estimated at $175 million. LG Chem will receive DuPont's entire soluble OLED IP (540 materials and process patents) and all of DuPont's related equipment and R&D facilities. The deal does not include any assets related to DowDupont's evaporation OLED business.

LG Chem and DuPont soluble OLED technologies acquisition ceremony

LG Chem believes that the OLED industry is moving towards ink-jet printing of OLED panels based on soluble OLED materials and technologies - and it has now acquired key technologies in this area. DuPont has been developing related materials for over 20 years, has been collaborating with equipment makers (such as Kateeva) and display makers and has also developed its own nozzle-printing process.

Nanomarkets: solution-processed OLED materials to take up 47% of the OLED market by 2019

Nanomarkets released a new white paper about solution-Processed OLEDs. They estimate that in order for the OLED market to grow significantly for TV and lighting applications, companies must adopt solution-processable materials. Soluble OLEDs have been researched for years with very little outcome outside of the lab. But Nanomarkets believes that the current problems can be fixed, and are worth fixing.

Soluble OLED materials and appropriate processes are being researched by Sumitomo, DuPont, Pioneer, UDC, Solvay, Marck and others. They estimate that the first panels to be made using these materials will be Pioneer's (together with Mitsubishi) OLED lighting panels - planned for 2014. Nanomarkets thinks that if Pioneer succeeded, it may push GE back into the OLED game with their own soluble material solutions. It's interesting that Nanomarkets does not mention Panasonic's OLED TV prototype that uses Sumitomo's P-OLED materials.

Dupont at SID 2012

Dupont published some new OLED material specification, you can see them in the photo below. The lifetime (LT50) of their Blue fluorescent material is now over 33,000 hours (the the 0.14c0.13 blue, anyway) - which they say is good enough for OLED TVs. Their solution-processed materials are now more efficient than their evaporated-materials, but lifetime is probably lower (it's a bit hard to know since they only publish LT95 for those materials).

I had an interesting discussion with a Dupont employee involved in their OLED program. In January 2012 it was reported that the company is building a $30 million pilot production line for OLED TV displays using their new nozzle printing technology. It turns out that the report wasn't accurate - the facility that DuPont is building is a material production facility. They have no intention to start producing displays...

UDC: green PHOLED adoption still ahead, confirms that Samsung is DuPont's Nozzle-printing licensee

Universal Display's management presented in an investor conference (Deutsche Bank's Clean Tech, Utilities and Power Conference). They gave an interesting introduction to the company and its business. In the Q&A, Sid Rosenblatt, the company's CFO says that currently their green PHOLED emitter is used in only two products: the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Sony Vita. This is set to change and they expect more products in the second half of 2012.

This explains why UDC's first quarter revenues were lower than expected - while red emitters sales were up 150% over last year, the green emitter sales have dropped, due to low Vita sales and high volume purchases in the previous quarter.

An interview with Merck's OLED unit VP, Dr. Udo Heider

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company based in Germany, working on high performance OLED materials. We're happy to post this third interview with Merck's OLED unit VP, Dr. Udo Heider:

Q: Dr. Heider, thanks for taking the time to do yet another interview with us.

Thanks Ron. I do appreciate this opportunity to communicate about our recent Merck OLED activities.

I'm assuming that Merck is still focused on Solution Processable materials. Can you give us a short update on the current status of your materials?

Yes, of course, we are very diligently focused on solution processable materials development based on our customers requests. As communicated in the past, Merck is working on solution processable small molecule materials. Our chemists have devised ways to redesign an evaporable small molecule and optimize its performance within a soluble device stack, applicable to the various soluble "printing" process windows.

DuPont builds a $30 million OLED TV pilot production line

Update: It turns out that DuPoint's facility will only produce materials, not any kind of display panels...

DuPont announced that it is building a $30 million OLED TV pilot production line at its Stine-Haskell Research Center off Elkton Road in Newark. DuPont will allocate 26 engineers and 9 professional works for the project. Delaware announced it will allocate $920,000 grant from the Delaware Strategic Fun to help fund this project. It isn't likely that DuPont actually considers establishing a full-scale OLED TV production facility in the US, the aim is probably to develop manufacturing technology.

DuPont's new pilot line will use their nozzle-printing (or "spray-printing") technology which uses a continuous stream of ink (unlike the droplets used in regular inkjet printing) to deposit OLED materials. This is a very fast process - DuPont says it can print a 50" TV in under 2 minutes, but the display isn't optimized in the sub-pixel level and is so less efficient than in other patterning technologies. But the faster throughput can lead to cheaper displays - in fact DuPont claims that this technology may make an OLED TV cheaper than an LCD TV.

DuPont earns $20 million from OLED technology licensing

DuPont posted their financial results for 4Q 2011 (small decline in 4Q earnings and record annual earnings) - and the company recorded $20 million income from OLED technology licensing. Back in November 2011 DuPont announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with a leading Asian AMOLED maker - for the OLED nozzle printing technology, which will be used to make OLED TVs. The $20 million (or at least parts of it) may be fees for that license.

DuPont 4.3-inch printed OLED prototypeDuPont 4.3-inch printed OLED prototype

DuPont's nozzle-printing (or "spray-printing") technology uses a continuous stream of ink (unlike the droplets used in regular inkjet printing) to deposit OLED materials. This is a very fast process - DuPont says it can print a 50" TV in under 2 minutes, but the display isn't optimized in the sub-pixel level and is so less efficient than in other patterning technologies. But the faster throughput can lead to cheaper displays - in fact DuPont claims that this technology may make an OLED TV cheaper than an LCD TV.

Universal Display reports 3Q 2011 results - net income of $6 million, revenues of $21.8 million

Universal Display reported their 3Q 2011 financial results: net income (and cash flow) of $6 million (this is the first profitable quarter for the company) on revenues of $21.8 million (an increase of 208% compared to 3Q 2010). Commercial revenue was $9.9 million and development revenue was $11.9 million.

Host Materials

UDC has started to offer OLED host materials to complement their emitter materials. They enjoyed high host material sales in this quarter ($7.8 million) - but this is a competitive market as several companies are offering the same kind of materials. The company said that they are looking to "expand the R&D and material business outside of emitters and to other aspects of the stack". Back in March when UDC raised $250 million it was rumored that the company is looking to acquire a company (Novaled was the leading candidate according to the rumors) to expand their business in that way.

A leading AMOLED maker to use DuPont's nozzle-printing technology

DuPont announced that it has signed a OLED production technology licensing agreement with a leading Asian AMOLED maker. This technology will be used to make large size OLED TV panels. We don't have any financial details on this agreement, but a leading asian AMOLED maker probably means Samsung, LG or Sony. In fact Bloomberg claims that the company is probably Samsung (which makes sense).

DuPont 4.3-inch printed OLED prototypeDuPont 4.3-inch printed OLED prototype

DuPont's nozzle-printing (or "spray-printing") technology uses a continuous stream of ink (unlike the droplets used in regular inkjet printing) to deposit OLED materials. This is a very fast process - DuPont says it can print a 50" TV in under 2 minutes, but the display isn't optimized in the sub-pixel level and is so less efficient than in other patterning technologies. But the faster throughput can lead to cheaper displays - in fact DuPont claims that this technology may make an OLED TV cheaper than an LCD TV.

Dupont's printable OLEDs to be cheaper than LCDs by 40%

Back in May 2010 Dupont announced that they can print a a 50" OLED TV in under two minutes, using their new printable OLED materials and a custom-made printer from Dai Nippon Screen Manufacturing Co. Today we learned that Dupont estimates that their new OLEDs will be cheaper than LCDs - by about 40%! Regular OLEDs cost about twice as much  as LCDs to manufacture.

Dupont's new manufacturing process uses a continuous stream of ink (rather than droplets used in 'classic' inkjet design), and moves over a surface at rates of four to five meters per second while patterning a display. The spray-printer developed with Dai Nippon Screen works on Gen-4 substrates (730x920). Dupont is using a common structure for each pixel (red, green and blue) and isn't optimizing each pixel. This is less efficient, but results in faster throughput. 

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters