With a flood of new competitors set to initiate or increase the production of active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels next year, demand for materials used to make AMOLEDs is forecast to rise by nearly 27 percent in 2014.
The global market for AMOLED light-emitting materials will expand to $445 million in 2014, up from $350 million this year, according to the new report entitled “Display Materials and Components Report – AMOLED Light-Emitting Material – 2014” from IHS Inc. While growth next year will moderate compared to the 49 percent rise in 2013, the market will swell by about $100 million in 2014, as presented in the figure below.
“South Korea’s Samsung Display Co. Ltd. has successfully pioneered the AMOLED business during the last five years, attaining major success in the market for smartphone panels ranging in size from 3-inches to 5-inches,” said Doo Kim, principal analyst, display component and materials research. “Now other panel manufacturers are seeking to cash in on the expanding demand for AMOLEDs in smartphone, televisions and other products. This phenomenon will spur the continued increase in sales of materials used to create AMOLEDs in 2014.”
The organic light-emitting materials utilized in AMOLED panels can be largely divided into two categories: common functional layer materials and color-emitting materials.
The common layer materials include hole transport layer (HTL), hole injection layer (HIL), electron transport layer (ETL), electron injection layer (EIL), capping layer (CPL), charged generation layer (CGL), electron blocking layer (EBL), efficiency enhanced layer (EEL) and RGB prime layer materials.
Of these, the EBL and EEL materials are hardly used at this time, while the CGL material is used only in white organic light-emitting diode (WOLED) panels.
Materials such as PIN dopant are also adopted to improve efficiency.
The color-emitting materials are red, green and blue host and dopant materials. Yellow-green materials are used in WOLED.
Samsung Display started the AMOLED market when it commenced large-scale mass production in 2008. Since then, it has led the AMOLED market’s expansion.
In 2013, LG Display Co. Ltd. of South Korea launched a WOLED TV panel and a flexible AMOLED panel. Meanwhile, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) of Taiwan introduced samples of small- to medium-sized AMOLED panels.
Next year, LG, AUO and Japan Display Inc. (JDI) are poised to commence or increase AMOLED panel production. As a result, light-emitting material makers are expected to compete in a more diverse market environment with increased demand and a broader base of customers. This will represent a marked change from the last five years, when they depended wholly on demand from Samsung Display.