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Idemitsu Kosan Expands Presence in Korea with $1.4m Advanced Materials R&D Center

Idemitsu Kosan, a Japanese chemical company, has recently established a research and development (R&D) center in Osan, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, with the aim of strengthening its presence in the Korean market. The new facility, named ‘Idemitsu Advanced Materials Korea Co., Ltd.’, will focus on R&D and marketing of advanced materials for the electronics and life sciences sectors. The establishment of the center reflects the company’s efforts to create a business system that remains unaffected by diplomatic and security concerns.

The Osan R&D Center represents a $1.4m investment and is fully owned by Idemitsu Kosan. It will work alongside the existing ‘Idemitsu Electronic Materials Korea,’ a production company based in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, which was established in 2010. The latter will now concentrate solely on OLED material production, having previously been responsible for manufacturing OLED materials and supporting Korean customers.

Idemitsu Kosan has a history of supplying organic light-emitting diode (OLED) blue materials and electron transport layers to major Korean firms such as Samsung Display and LG Display. The company’s ‘Sunjin Material Company’ division oversees its advanced materials business, which comprises six subdivisions focused on three primary growth areas: electricity/electronization solutions, ICT electronic solutions, and bio/life solutions.

The Osan R&D Center aims to research and develop advanced materials, including lithium-ion battery materials, OLED and crystalline oxide semiconductor materials, and new agricultural chemicals, while also bolstering marketing efforts. Idemitsu Kosan explained that the Osan R&D Center’s goal is to continue advanced material R&D and strengthen marketing efforts to meet Korean customer demand, forge connections with companies and research institutes, promote alliances, and establish a business system not influenced by diplomacy and security.

The company is currently evaluating joint collaborations with several customers regarding oxide semiconductor materials production, but a specific production schedule has yet to be announced. As for battery materials production, Idemitsu Kosan is working with Korean companies on various development projects, but actual production is still expected to take some time.

In the past, Idemitsu Kosan supplied regular hydrogen blue materials to LG Display, but after LG Display switched to deuterium blue materials, DuPont took over as the supplier. UDC, a US-based company, has announced plans to mass-produce blue phosphorescent materials by 2024 that can improve internal luminous efficiency fourfold compared to existing blue fluorescent materials.

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