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Flat Panel Display Materials on the Rise

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2006
Anne L. Fischer, Senior Editor

The growing flat panel display market involves a wide range of materials, including liquid crystal, filters, polarizers, LEDs, microelectromechanical systems and nanomaterials.

According to “Major Display Materials: Markets, Technologies,” a report from Business Communications Co. Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., the flat panel display market accounted for 72 percent of the $17.1 billion in total materials sold in 2004. It is projected to constitute 76.5 percent in 2005 and 90 percent by 2010. The cathode-ray tube materials market, on the other hand, which includes glass, phosphors and coatings, is estimated at $4.8 billion and expected to drop to $3.4 billion by the end of 2010.

MRBCC.jpg

The value of flat panel display materials is expected to far outpace cathode-ray tube materials through 2010. Courtesy of Business Communications Co. Inc.

Nine materials are covered in this report, along with the major manufacturers and their locations. It is noted that there has been a geographic shift from all major areas of the world to the Asia/Pacific region. Although many display manufacturers have headquarters in North America or Europe, they have manufacturing branches or subsidiaries in Asia. The report also discusses joint ventures and collaborative efforts, which have helped cut costs by moving materials manufacturing closer to where the displays are produced.

The technical issues involving each of the materials are discussed, along with current trends and forecasts worldwide through 2010. Also included is an assessment of government and industry support for materials research.

The report, released in November, sells for $3950. For more information, see www.bccresearch.com.


GLOSSARY
liquid crystal
A type of material that possesses less geometrical regularity or order than normal solid crystals, and whose order varies in response to alterations in temperature and other quantities. Liquid crystals are characterized by phase varieties, including cholesteric, nematic and smectic. The optical properties of liquid crystals are familiar from their use in displays, known as LCDs.
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