Sumitomo Chemical to Acquire Light Emitting Polymer Business from Dow

Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo) and The Dow Chemical Company announced today that Sumitomo will purchase the LUMATION* Light-Emitting Polymers (LEPs) business from Dow. Financial terms were not disclosed. Sumitomo’s acquisition of LUMATION LEPs will strengthen the company’s LEP technology-based business, in line with its strategy.

Sumitomo has developed fluorescent and phosphorescent LEPs based on the company’s long-established display material and conducting polymer technology. Sumitomo’s blue-color material achieved 10,000 hours of brightness half-life. The material is ideal for a printing method, a much simpler and more cost effective production process for large-sized displays than the vacuum deposition method used for small-molecular OLEDs. The company is also developing highly efficient new materials such as dendrimers in cooperation with Cambridge Display Technology Limited, a U. K. company.

“The acquisition enables Sumitomo to broaden its product line by adding the LUMATION LEPs product line. Furthermore, new developments can be stimulated by combining Sumitomo’s proprietary technology and LUMATION LEP technology. We believe this acquisition will accelerate our R&D activities and greatly facilitate the application of our technologies not only to displays, but more broadly to solid state lighting applications”, commented Mr. Satoshi Kawachi, Executive Vice President of Sumitomo.

LEPs are the critical light-emitting material in polymeric light-emitting diodes (pLEDs), which are one class of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The pLED technology offers many performance benefits over other technologies, such as Liquid Crystal Displays. pLEDs do not require a backlight and enable high-resolution, wide-viewing angle, high contrast, low voltage emissive displays. LEPs allow for the cost-effective production of both passive and active matrix, monochromatic, area color, and full color displays. Applications for pLED technology will include televisions, instrument panels and portable electronics such as mobile phones, digital cameras, camcorders, and personal digital assistants (PDAs), and MP3 players.

“LUMATION LEPs represent an important, and potentially disruptive, advance in OLED technology. However, without a larger portfolio of offerings to the display industry, Dow does not have the market presence to rapidly advance its further development and adoption,” said George Biltz, Business Vice President, Dow Ventures and Purchasing, Dow. “Sumitomo’s extensive experience in the flat-panel displays technology gives them both the strong research infrastructure and the market presence necessary to more rapidly further the development and commercialization of LUMATION LEP technology.”

The purchase includes technology assets associated with LUMATION LEPs. To ensure a smooth transfer of technology and avoid disruption to development partners and customers, the two companies have agreed to cooperate in transitional period activities.

For more information on light emitting polymers, click here.

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