Global OLED Material Market to Reach $3 Billion by 2025 with 30% YoY Growth

OLED materials

The key ingredient for OLED screens is organic OLED materials, which make up 23% of the cost of producing smartphone panels. With an increasing number of OLED screens being produced, the global value of OLED materials is expected to hit $3 billion by 2025.

Global value of OLED materials in 2022$2.23 billion
YoY growth rate of OLED materials30%
Production value expected to be reached by 2025$3 billion
Organic OLED materials’ contribution to the cost of making smartphone panels23%
Source: TrendForce

There are two types of OLED light-emitting components: those based on polymers and those based on small-molecule materials. While polymers have issues with impure color and poor film uniformity, printing technology can make up for these shortcomings by fitting more materials into a high aperture ratio. Small-molecule materials, on the other hand, have purer color and higher brightness, making them ideal for larger-generation OLED production.

The production of OLED screens involves synthesizing intermediates from raw monomers, which are then processed to become precursors before finally being purified into terminal OLED materials. While Chinese manufacturers like Jilin OLED Material, Ruilian New Materials, Aglaia Tech, and Shenzhen Mason provide intermediates, terminal materials are produced by a select few foreign manufacturers due to their complex structure and formulas. But as demand for OLED screens continues to rise, more upstream manufacturers are entering the market and driving growth.

Stage of ProductionGross Margin
Synthesizing intermediates from raw monomers10-20%
Producing terminal OLED materials via sublimation and purification60-70%
Source: TrendForce

The structure of an OLED component consists of organic light-emitting materials, including the main host (light-emitting layer), guest material (dopant), and functional layers (with electron or hole transport properties). DuPont and LG Chemical are the major manufacturers of red OLEDs, while Samsung DSI and Merck mostly produce green OLEDs. UDC has a monopoly on red and green phosphorescent dopant materials due to patent barriers.

But the market is evolving. Chinese manufacturers are entering the market, supplying functional layers like Laite’s Red Prime. Samsung and UDC are planning to commercialize blue phosphorescent materials in 2024 to improve the lifetime of blue OLEDs. And new technologies like Lordin’s patented zero radius intra-molecular energy transfer (ZRIET) are improving efficiency by controlling the speed of energy transfer between the main host and dopant.

Red OLEDsDuPont, LG Chemical
Green OLEDsSamsung DSI, Merck
Red and green phosphorescent dopant materialsUDC
Blue light-emitting materialsIdemitsu Kosan, Merck
Deuterium-based blue emitter materialsDuPont, LG Chemical
OLED functional layersTokuyama, Idemitsu Kosan, LG, Laite’s Red Prime
OLED intermediatesJilin OLED Material, Ruilian New Materials, Aglaia Tech, Shenzhen Mason
Zero radius intra-molecular energy transfer (ZRIET) materialLordin
Source: TrendForce

As the demand for OLED screens continues to rise, the competition among panel manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and BOE is heating up. They are all competing for priority for the Canon Tokki Gen 8.7 evaporation machine, which will give them an advantage in expanding applications. The future of OLED screens looks bright, with more innovative technologies on the horizon, like Samsung’s vertical evaporation, eLeap lithography, and printing processes to improve the aperture ratio.

LaiteR-Prime terminal materialsBOE, CSOT, EDO…
O’rightFunctional layers & light-emitting materialsBOE, Visionox, testing EDO….
Ruilian New MaterialsFunctional layers & deuterium-based blue intermediatesMerck, DuPont, LGC, SDI
ValiantMonomers/IntermediatesMerck, DOW, LGC
Aglaia TechMonomers/IntermediatesMerck
Eternal Material TechnologyMonomers/Intermediates
China RayPrinting technologyInvesting in Visionox, TCL
Source: TrendForce