LG may soon be able to mass-produce OLED TVs using inkjet printing technology, which can reduce production costs and improve picture quality. The company has acquired core technologies from America's DuPont.
Printable OLED displays
LG Chem, the LG Group's division for chemicals and materials, has acquired DuPont's soluble OLED assets, including 540 patents, R&D, and certain production facilities for producing soluble OLEDs through inkjet printing.
The deal was announced on April 2 in Seoul, South Korea. In statements to Korean media, LG Chem said that it expects production of these "next-generation" OLED displays to commence within the next five years.
Photo: LG Chem
- "With this acquisition, we could secure every technology related to the soluble OLED materials. DuPont has developed its cutting-edge technologies in the sector for about 20 years," said LG Chem, according to The Korea Times.
Today, OLED displays are being mass-produced using deposition, which is a costly process involving production steps in a vacuum state and evaporation. With soluble OLEDs, displays can be mass-produced using an inkjet printing method, which is said to be faster, more flexible, and less costly. It may also improve picture quality due to the expanded color gamut made possible by soluble OLEDs. Current OLED TVs are limited to DCI-P3 color gamut.
In 2015, DuPont and Kateeva partnered to advance inkjet printing of OLEDs
LG has been conducting research into soluble OLED displays for some time but this acquisition should speed things up. Samsung has also been exploring the concept for years, according to reports. Samsung has reportedly been working together with Kateeva and DuPont, amongst others, but it is not clear whether LG's acquisition of DuPont's assets will affect its arch rival's plans.
- "With this acquisition, LG Chem now has the world's best competitiveness in the soluble OLED material sector. We will try to provide the best quality products to our customers," said Shin Hak-cheol, vice chairman of LG Chem.
The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed but is believed to be over 200 billion won ($175 million).