The market for the four primary chemicals used in TFT-LCD production has been forecast to reach $1.6 billion this year, by IHS. Sales of etchant, alone, will be worth $850 million, with more than 660,000 tons to be consumed by the display industry in 2015.
Kihyun Kim, senior analyst of chemical material research, noted, “The TFT LCD manufacturing process consumes more etchant than any other chemical in the electronics industry… With screen resolution increasing, use of this component is on the rise”.
Sales of photoresist, also widely used in the display trade’s photo-lithography process, will be worth $270 million this year; stripper, which is used to remove photoresist, will exceed $310 million; and developer, used to develop photoresist when exposed to light, will reach $130 million. Revenue for RGB resist, resin BM and photo spacer, all used in colour filtering, will reach $1.4 billion.
Kim adds that the display chemicals market is expected tto benefit from continuous growth, due mainly to aggressive manufacturing investment plans by Chinese manufacturers. Larger facilties consume more materials; however, severe price erosion could lead to revenue growth being lower than consumption growth.