November 14, 2005 – Dainippon Ink & Chemicals Inc. plans to start producing materials for thin-film transistor (TFT) LCDs in early 2006, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. The company intends on spending 500 million yen (US$4.2 million ) to procure production equipment for its Saitama Prefecture plant and then to start supplying materials for computer monitors and eventually LCD televisions by April 2006.
The major Japanese chemical company plans to supply liquid crystals, a key material placed between glass substrates in LCDs. Because Merck KGaA and Chisso Corp. hold basic patents for TFT LCDs, production of certain materials was handled only by these two companies. Materials for LCD TVs are almost completely provided by Merck. In 2000, Dainippon Ink succeeded in basic development of TFT LCDs that don’t use the patents of Merck and Chisso. It continued modifying its product by widening the viewing angle and improving reaction speed.
The company already has arranged for buyers among those providing parts for computer monitors, and it is expected to sign deals with LCD TV manufacturers sometime this fiscal year. The company hopes to generate sales of 15 billion yen with its liquid crystals for TFT LCDs, about 10% of the global market, in fiscal 2008.