Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), also known as organic electroluminescent displays, organic light emitting semiconductors. OLED technology was discovered by Dr. Deng Qingyun of Kodak in the United States in 1979. Because it has self-luminous, infinitely high contrast, wide viewing angle, low power consumption, fast response, and flexible display, it has been recognized since its discovery. For the next generation of display technology.
OLED organic materials are key materials for OLED display panels. Based on the current status of OLED industry, this article will focus on the technical and industrial development challenges of OLED organic materials.
I. Overview of the OLED industry chain
The upstream of the OLED industry chain includes material manufacturing, equipment manufacturing, and parts groups. The middle reaches include panel manufacturing, modules, and driver chips. Downstream includes various types of terminal applications.
1. OLED upstream
Due to the high technical threshold, OLED upstream industrial supply is basically controlled by overseas manufacturers, and there are not many upstream companies that can achieve mass production in China. In the field of equipment manufacturing, Japanese manufacturers Canon Tokki and Ulvac are absolutely in the lead in the field of evaporation and other key equipment. At present, there is no systemization of complete sets of OLED production equipment manufacturers, key equipment, and complete sets of equipment for industrialization. Technology, etc. are in the hands of Japanese, South Korean and European companies.
At present, the OLED upstream material field is dominated by Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States, and is mainly controlled by Japan Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Idemitsu Kosan"), Hodogaya Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., UDC Corporation of the United States, and some South Korean companies. Japanese and Korean manufacturers mainly produce small-molecule light-emitting materials. European and American manufacturers mainly produce light-emitting materials with higher barriers to patents and some high-end process materials. Japanese and Korean manufacturers account for about 80% of the market. Japan is an important supplier of OLED panel materials. Polymers produced by Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. and Showa Denko KK are the basic materials for the OLED process. Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals Co., Ltd. mainly manufacture small-molecule light-emitting materials.
OLED materials account for 30% of the total cost of OLED screen products, while in LCD products, materials account for 70% of the total cost. After overcoming the low yield of OLED products, OLEDs have enough room for cost reduction, making their cost lower than that of LCD panels.
2. OLED midstream
In the midstream area, giants such as Samsung Group (hereinafter referred to as "Samsung"), LG Group, etc. are holding the direction of the mid-range panel. The global production of OLED display panels mainly focuses on South Korea, among which Samsung is currently the world's largest manufacturer of small and medium-sized OLED panels. LG Display (LG Display, LGD) was the first major target for large-size OLEDs. In view of the development trend of small-screen electronic products, LGD gradually increased the size of small and medium sized OLEDs.
3. OLED downstream
OLED technology has gradually become a popular trend in downstream terminals, and the market has grown tremendously. iPhone X uses an OLED display, which brings a powerful demonstration effect to the entire smartphone segment. LG, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, TCL and other domestic and foreign electronic product manufacturers stepped up their efforts to lay out OLED related industries in 2017. In addition, OLED still has great potential for growth in television, automotive and aerospace, wearable devices, and industrial applications, and has broad prospects for development.
The new generation of display OLEDs has a broad prospect and there are numerous domestic and international opportunities. Most of the upstream material accessories such as driver ICs, conductive glass, package glass, organic materials, precision masks, etc., need to be purchased from Japan, South Korea, and other countries. Relatively speaking, Chinese domestic manufacturers are mostly concentrated in the middle and lower reaches of the panel, modules and other fields.