The market for the four primary chemical materials used in thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display(LCD) production is expected to reach $1.6 billion in 2015. Revenue from sales of etchant alone, used for electrode patterning, will reach $850 million, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight. More than 660,000 tons of etchant will be consumed by the display industry this year.
“The TFT LCD manufacturing process consumes more etchant than any other chemical in the electronics industry,” said Kihyun Kim, senior analyst of chemical material research for IHS Technology. “With screen resolution increasing, use of this component is on the rise.”
By the end of this year, photoresist, which is also widely used in the display industry's photo-lithography process, is expected to reach $270 million; stripper, used to remove photoresist in the photo-lithography process, will exceed $310 million; and developer, used to develop photoresist when exposed to light, will reach $130 million, according to the latest IHS Display Chemical Materials Report. Revenue for RGB resist, resin BM, and photo spacer, which are used in color filtering, will reach $1.4 billion this year.
“The display chemical materials market will grow continuously, due mainly to Chinese panel makers' aggressive manufacturing investment plans," Kim said. "Larger fabs consume more chemical materials; however, revenue growth for chemical materials could be slower than consumption growth, because of severe price erosion.”