Merck wants to provide innovative materials not only to the display market, but also to the growth markets of photovoltaics and lighting.
"We already have products at Merck, which are being used in the photovoltaic and lighting markets. In addition, the most important customers for display LC materials are already, or plan to be, active in the photovoltaic area. Concerning the lighting market, Merck has OLED products that could be used as material for the next generation of illuminants," says Juergen Koenig, President of Merck Korea.
For its already established LED business, Merck expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of the company Litec in 2008. By integrating Litec's competencies, Merck entered the market for "innovative, highly-efficient light sources." Merck has invested intensively in the next generation potential market with three pillars: materials for displays, photovoltaics and lighting. A special challenge for the materials for photovoltaic and lighting is to coordinate all activities within Merck Chemicals, and to open up for Merck the opportunities of these markets using a convincing product portfolio. It was clearly defined, however, that liquid crystals will remain the key business in the display field for Merck during the next 10 years.
A brand from Liquid Crystals Structuring Solutions, isishape, will be introduced at IMID 2009. The main markets of isishape are found in the photovoltaic (PV) and the display-area touch panel industries. Both are predicted to have large growth potential but production costs and increased solar-cell efficiency will become important competitive factors.
isishape is the umbrella brand name for various printable etching pastes. Solar cells and flat panel displays consist of semi-conducting, insulation or anti-reflective layers, which can be structured or even removed during the production process. Examples are the pass-through of silicon intride (SiNx) and indium tin oxide (ITO).
Materials in the isishape product group enable a simple, fast and environmentally-friendly structuring process. In fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO), the silicon, silicon nitride and silicon dioxide, if suitably equipped, can be structured at a tact time of up to two seconds. The pattern resolution depends on the printing method, the pattern type and the layer topography.
In addition, Merck offers innovations for LEDs. Originally invented in the first half of the 20th century and commercially introduced in the 1960s, LEDs offer many advantages over traditional light sources: They have a very high energy saving potential, do not contain any environmentally unfriendly heavy metals and have superb longevity.
The color of LEDs depends on the light-emitting semiconductor material used. High-brightness blue LEDs based on gallium nitride first became widely available in the late 1990s; today they are used to produce most high-intensity white LEDs as well. Broad-spectrum white light is generated by coating the blue LED with luminescent colored phosphor materials. As a reliable partner to the global solid-state lighting industry, Merck develops various phosphor materials for more efficient solid-state lighting solutions. Under the brand name isiphor, Merck offers innovative luminescent materials for LED production to make your illumination ideas come true. A wide range of color-on-demand concepts from warm to cold white light is readily available.
Using extensive know-how and manufacturing expertise together with the most advanced process technology, Merck's phosphors are especially homogeneous in form and size, enabling homogeneous phosphor conversion layers with high efficiency, significantly less light scattering and even less energy consumption.