Sumitomo Chemical acquires shares of JOLED


The Sumitomo Chemical Company has invested ¥5bn in JOLED Inc., a Japan-based developer and manufacturer of printed OLED displays, by way of acquiring some of JOLED’s new shares issued through third-party allocation.

With the capital raised through the third party allocation, JOLED  is  to establish production  capabilities in its Nomi  Site  in  Nomi  City,  Ishikawa,  Japan, for  the  mass production of  printed  OLED  displays.  The plant is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2020 as JOLED’s main manufacturing site where the printing method is commercially applied for the first time in the world, with a monthly production capacity of approximately 20 000 glass substrates of size G5.5 (1300×1500mm), to produce mid-size (10 to 32 inch) printed OLED displays for such applications as automotive displays and high-end monitors. Sumitomo Chemical will supply its OLED materials to the Nomi site.

The OLED materials developed by Sumitomo Chemical allow displays to be produced by the printing method. Distinct from the currently prevailing vacuum deposition method, the printing method is much simpler in a manufacturing process and is also capable of achieving significant reduction in both equipment cost and materials loss because the method simply involves printing OLED materials onto a substrate to form pixels of display just in a manner similar to an inkjet printer. Accordingly, the printing method produces mid-to-large size OLED displays at lower cost with higher productivity, hence holding every promise of becoming a mainstream manufacturing method for OLED displays in the years to come.

Sumitomo Chemical has positioned ICT as one of the core domains in its development of next-generation businesses.  A full-fledged commercial supply of OLED  materials  to JOLED will provide a strong impetus for Sumitomo Chemical to achieve an ensured and early launch of its OLED materials, paving the way for expanding its business into the large-screen televisions field, the company's next target market for its OLED materials.

Caption: Comparison of display manufacturing processes with OLED materials (photo: Sumitomo Chemical)

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