Article published in LEDinside

Written by Judy Lin

 

Advanced optical material specialist Pixelligent is ramping up its deployment strategy in Asia, and set up a new office in Taoyuan, Taiwan two months ago, said the company CEO Craig Bandes in an exclusive interview with LEDinside.

“About 75% of our activities and revenues are coming from Asia,” said Bandes. “So it’s logical for us to set up an office in the region.”

Bandes declined, though, to provide any specific figures on the total revenue from its LED and OLED optical material businesses from Asia. The company does not disclose revenue or earnings.

Pixelligent employees checking equipment during Zirconia nanocrystal synthesis process.

 

The U.S.-based zirconia nanocrystal optical material manufacturer has also teamed up with Japanese distributor Inabata, a trading enterprise with 126 years of history to import and sell Pixelligent products from U.S. to Taiwan and Japan, said Bandes.

The Japanese trading company’s arm in the country, Taiwan Inabata Sangyo, was founded in 1989 and currently has four operating offices nationwide. The large semiconductor distributor mainly imports semiconductor materials from Japan to sell in Taiwan, and its business scope covers LED material, LED component, optical resins and more.

Asked why the company chose Taiwan to serve as its Asia headquarters, Bandes replied the country’s geographical location and close proximity to other Asian country markets, favorable economic environment, and formation of right social networks were its top reasons.

The new Pixelligent Taoyuan office will be headed by Vincent Jao, who has a strong background in electronic material and electrochemical industry, will also act as the company’s Director for Asia Sales and Business Development. Jao previously was the deputy general manager for leading German high-tech equipment manufacturer Manz for two years and before that was with Solutia Performance Films and Dupont Display Materials.

The company’s zirconia nanocrystal optical materials have attracted attention from large display makers in Taiwan, and the company is currently in talks with top manufacturers, but non-disclosure agreements signed prevent the company from naming potential clients, said Bandes.

The company’s zirconia nanocrystal injected optical components can raise lighting extraction in OLED lighting devices by increasing external quantum efficiency, and in an earlier interview back in July with LEDinside, Bandes said the company aims to raise light extraction in OLEDs used in lighting by over 100% and OLEDs used in displays by over 200% increasing the efficiency to 60% to 70%.

The company’s focus and developments might be gaining specific attention from OLED lighting and display manufacturers, due to recent industry developments.

OLED has become a hot topic in Taiwan after the government announced it will invest NT $100 billion (US $3.2 billion) in the development of AMOLED and POLED market sector on Aug. 16, 2016. Top display manufacturers, such as AUO and others have revealed their plans to scale up investments in AMOLED.

The new office in Taiwan will become Pixelligent’s new Asia headquarters, where ”we will support our customers and distributors throughout Taiwan, Japan and Korea, and extend our reach into China starting 2017”, said Bandes.

In the near term, the company’s products will be shipped from U.S. to Asia, but Pixelligent might consider expanding manufacturing to Taiwan, China or other Asian countries in the next 12 to 18 months, added Bandes.

Pixelligent readies OLED material products for 2017

Responding to whether the company will use the US $10.4 million funds raised from a successfully closed financing round back in mid-August this year to build new production plants in Asia, Bandes commented most of the financing will be used to support new product developments and expand manufacturing domestically in the U.S. to scale up its Zirconia material production to 40-50 tonnes annually.

The company’s new product lineup is mainly being focused on OLED Display materials, he added. “We are in the process of making OLED materials for numerous layers in the OLED display stack, with plans of launching a new light extraction product by mid-2017,” said Bandes.

Bandes projected the OLED lighting market will continue to grow at an accelerated rate in 2017, and the company is already working with top OLED lighting manufacturers in the sector.

Flexible OLED materials capacity to transform mobile computing form factors, and lighting and display trends in the automobile application sector will make both OLED lighting and display applications a big and booming market in the next five to ten years, he added.

OLEDs display material’s low lighting extraction rates of 15% to 18% will present many market opportunities for the zirconia material manufacturer, as more players entering the OLED market seek out better light extraction solutions, said Bandes.