Revisiting OLED Encapsulation
Published: September 24, 2012 Category: Advanced Materials OLEDs

The OLED encapsulation sector has changed considerably in the past two years.  OLEDs have broken out of their previous niche market pattern, in which they were used mostly for simple, passive matrix displays for MP3 players, cell-phone sub-displays, etc., that had modest encapsulation needs well served by simple cover glass technologies.

Today, however, the OLED industry is booming, with full-color, active-matrix (AM) OLEDs leading the way.  Indeed, OLED displays have gone mainstream, and OLED lighting is not far behind:

• OLED displays are the fastest growing primary display type in mass-market smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing products.

• Meanwhile, OLED lighting is now on the market in the form of designer light kits, as well as in luxury luminaires, and NanoMarkets is predicting that larger segments of the lighting market are likely to be penetrated by OLED lighting in the next few years.

• OLED TVs appear to be – finally – on the verge of mass-market introduction, with products from Samsung and LG expected in 2012 and 2013, respectively. 

These trends mean that the addressable market for OLED encapsulation materials is rapidly growing and should continue to do so. 

Increased Production and Larger Panel Sizes Lead to New Encapsulation Needs

Notably, these OLED market trends are accompanied by two shifts in the OLED panel demand patterns that will influence the market for OLED encapsulation. 

• First, of course, increased production of OLED panels of all types is good for the encapsulation business.

• Second, there is an important, ongoing shift toward larger panels, especially in TV and lighting applications, both of which are expected to greatly increase the size of the addressable market for OLED encapsulation materials.

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