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Nanoco and Merck Sign Agreement on Eco-Friendly Quantum Materials for Displays

  • Cadmium-free quantum dots enable ultra-bright displays with a substantially extended colour range
  • Nanoco enters into a non-exclusive licence agreement with Merck, which will market Nanoco’s material to its broad customer base in the display industry

Nanoco Group plc (LSE: NANO), a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials, and Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the signing of a worldwide material supply and licensing agreement. The licence allows Merck to immediately start marketing Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dots and to ultimately establish its own production facility to meet growing market demand.

“The agreement is in line with Merck’s strategy to sustainably secure its position as the global market and technology leader in display materials. With cadmium-free quantum dots a remarkable increase in the colour range and a significant reduction in power consumption can be achieved. These cadmium-free quantum dots are eco-friendly and also complement our product portfolio for the display industry,” said Walter Galinat, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO of Performance Materials. “The licence agreement with Nanoco will strengthen our position in quantum materials research, for which we laid the foundations by acquiring Qlight Nanotech of Israel last year.”

The financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed, but Nanoco will receive a licence fee and royalties on Merck’s sales of the Nanoco cadmium-free quantum dots Merck manufactures. In line with Nanoco’s commercialisation strategy in the display market, this agreement is non-exclusive. Merck will begin marketing Nanoco’s technology in the near term by selling cadmium-free quantum dots manufactured at Nanoco’s expanded production plant in Runcorn, UK. The licence allows Merck to establish its own production facility for cadmium-free quantum dots in line with global market demand at a later point in time. Michael Edelman, Nanoco’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “This agreement with Merck is another major endorsement of the world-class quality of our cadmium free quantum dot technology. We are convinced that Merck can leverage its position in the display industry with these innovative materials.”

Advantages of quantum materials

Quantum materials offer a substantial additional benefit when they are used as color converters in the light source of liquid crystal displays. In conventional displays, the colors blue, green, and red are filtered out of the original white light of the LED light source. A great deal of light is lost in this process. Because a blue LED in combination with red and green quantum materials only generates the blue, green and red light that is perfectly transmitted through the filters, there is much less absorption. This increases the display’s brightness, reduces electricity consumption and leads to much purer and potentially stronger colors.