News Releases

Sumitomo Chemical to Accelerate Polymer OLED Materials Business for Large Displays

Feb. 26, 2021

Sumitomo Chemical has decided to integrate its PLED Business Planning office into its IT-related Chemicals Sector as of April 1, 2021. As the world enters the phase of full market penetration of large organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, it is expected that demand for polymer OLED luminescent materials will increase. Sumitomo Chemical is well positioned to ramp up its OLED luminescent materials business through integrated operations with its IT-related Chemicals Sector, which handles display-related materials.

OLEDs have been increasingly adopted in large high-end displays in recent years, in addition to the mobile market as represented by smartphones, as superior display devices with high contrast, color gamut reproducibility, and high-speed response. Luminescent materials used in OLED display production are broadly classified into a vapor-deposition type and a printable type. Printable polymer OLED luminescent materials enable the application of printing in three primary colors (red, green, and blue) as a method to form a luminescent layer. This enables a simpler device structure, which in turn enables mass production of large panels at low cost and with high productivity.

Sumitomo Chemical has pioneered the R&D of printable polymer OLED materials over the years to make it practical to produce OLED displays. In 2019, the company started supplying luminescent materials to JOLED Inc., which started a mass production line of printable OLED display panels for the first time in the world. More and more leading assembly manufacturers have moved to adopt JOLED’s medium-sized display panels of 20 to 30 inches embedded with our OLED materials. In addition, there was major progress in joint development work among leading large panel manufacturers to enable mass production of printing method panels using large substrates of the 8th generation or above, and a large display panel of 55 inches or more has been in a validation stage. Moreover, owing to OLED’s malleability, including ultra-thin, flexible, bendable, and rollable features, it is expected that many attractive OLED applications will be developed, and the demand for large OLED displays will dramatically increase. We hope that our OLED luminescent materials, with its excellent mass productivity, will become the de facto standard for large displays.

Sumitomo Chemical positions Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as one of its priority areas in its medium-term management plan. Through the growth of its OLED-related business, the company will contribute to the development of the display industry, which is indispensable for achieving a smart society, as represented by Society 5.0 in Japan.


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