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Report: OLED lighting to achieve higher growth

Posted: 28 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED? MP3 player? energy?

Looking at the new report of NanoMarkets, an industry analyst firm, the OLED industry is finally ready to inch away after having investments amounting to billions of dollars over the past decade. The research firm predicts that the OLED materials market will tap $2.7 billion by 2015.

According to the report, titled, "OLED Materials Markets-2008," OLED lighting has surpassed the efficiency of fluorescent lamps in laboratory tests, giving a new era of power-saving solid-state lighting. This shows that as the world becomes more energy conservation-oriented and concerned about energy costs, it will drive rapid growth for the OLED lighting industry and the demand for OLED materials. The researcher says as much as 90 percent of OLED materials by volume will be used by lighting applications by 2015.

Another indication that OLED technology is up for broader commercial production, according to NanoMarkets, is Nokia Corp.'s recent announcement that its vendors are capable of producing OLED displays. At the same time, GE Global Research's success with roll-to-roll production of OLED devices shows that OLED lighting may reach greater near-term production volume than displays.

Better, bolder trends
A rising number of lighting and TV applications, in particular with Sony that recently launched the first OLED TV, are positive signs for materials suppliers, because these applications need large OLEDs and use much more materials than handsets and MP3 player displays that have recently dominated the OLED space, according to the report.

The researcher also sees that flexible substrates like some plastic films will gain a significant share of the market as roll-to-roll processing becomes faster and more efficient. This development will provide lighter-weight devices that will open up new applications for product designers. The report said by 2015, about one-third by area of all OLEDs will be fabricated on flexible substrates.

More markets available
Another indicator of growth is the increasing number of companies that can develop and market complete materials systems for OLEDs. NanoMarkets said this is good update for display and lighting buyers, who can source from a single supplier who will provide a matched set of materials with predetermined characteristics. The firm added that these single sources have some of the largest materials firms in the world like DuPont, Merck and Sumitomo Chemical, which will help guarantee sufficient supply of OLED materials for a maturing OLED industry.

It added, however, there is still a room for smaller innovative firms such as Novaled. As the market expands, many opportunities open up to create materials designed for specific applications and manufacturing processes. Areas where NanoMarkets expects potential markets are stack designs, hybrid polymer and small molecule approaches, novel forms of doping and new types of materials for solution-processed OLEDs.

-Gina Roos

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