Break the Japanese monopoly profiteering, and make the ITO target into the price of cabbage! Inseparable from this Henan academician


In the past, the research and development of ITO targets in my country lagged behind foreign countries for 20 years, and the density of ITO targets produced was low, which could not meet the high-end display industry’s requirements for the quality of targets, so 90% of them needed to be imported from abroad; but now this situation has happened Change, the ITO target material developed by Academician He Jilin's team not only reached international standards in important technical indicators, realized import substitution, but also reduced the price of the Japanese target material market by 80%! Originally sold in China for 8,000 yuan per kilogram, after breaking the monopoly, the price dropped directly to 1,300 yuan per kilogram.

In recent years, my country's flat-panel display panel industry has developed rapidly, and its production capacity has ranked first in the world, and a very important material-ITO is needed to manufacture panels. ITO is the abbreviation of indium tin oxide, which is a layer of "coating" behind the flat display panel. For example, our flat panel display looks like a piece of glass, but it can conduct electricity and emit light, showing text, static and dynamic patterns. It should be noted that it is impossible for normal glass to conduct electricity. The reason why all this can be achieved is that a very thin transparent conductive film is coated behind it, which is an ITO film.

Since we started late, this field was once monopolized by Japanese and Korean companies. For example, sintering large-size ITO targets requires a large sintering furnace. Foreign countries can make a single target with a width of 1200 mm and a length of nearly 3000 mm, but domestic targets can only be made with a width of no more than 800 mm. In terms of output efficiency, the monthly output of Japanese-style equipment can reach 30 tons to 50 tons, while our annual output is only 30 tons, and the price of imported high-end target materials also depends on people’s faces. The status of the world's largest industrial production capacity is extremely disproportionate.

At present, the global high-end ITO target suppliers are mainly: Japan Energy, Tosoh and Mitsui Mining. The difficulty of localization lies in that the homogenization and high density of the target material composition has not achieved a fundamental breakthrough, and the overall localization rate is about 35%. The ITO target has CF process and Array process. The gap between domestic and imported is mainly in the density and nodulation characteristics.

Now, these technical difficulties have been solved. Not long ago, the project of "flat panel display, high-performance ITO targets, key technologies and engineering" developed by Academician He Jilin of Zhengzhou University won the second prize of the National Technology Invention Award. The project broke through the key technology of the bottleneck, realized from scratch, independent research and development and then surpassed it, broke the foreign technology blockade, and realized the localization of large-size ITO targets and the whole process of preparation by virtue of independent innovation.

Let's get to know this target master
Want to find out the life experience of this big coffee? Let’s talk about ITO first. ITO, Indium Tin Oxide, the "CP" of the non-ferrous metal industry, is yellow-green powder before combination, they are mixed and pressed according to a strict ratio, and made into a gray-green plain embryo, which is placed in a special sintering furnace Inside, after a high temperature of about 1700 degrees Celsius, it turns into a black-gray ceramic semiconductor.

This is the charcoal-black rectangular plate. After it turns into a film, it can display its magical powers: conduct electricity, transmit light, and isolate harmful electronic radiation, ultraviolet rays, and far-infrared rays.

Because of this, it has become the "good choice" in the manufacture of flat panel displays. But how can a large "big guy" as heavy as a steel plate become an invisible film behind the screen glass? You must know that the thickness of the ITO film is only 30 nanometers to 200 nanometers.

It turned out that it was first made into a standard-sized solid target, hit by high-speed magnetron sputtering, and vaporized and sputtered onto the glass substrate to form a film-like "coating".

Behind the TVs, computer monitors, tablet computers, and mobile phone screens in our lives, there are ITO target materials. Not only that, it is also active in the fields of solar cells, antistatic coatings, and transparent conductive coatings for EMI shielding. Has a broad market.

The domestic market of ITO targets has ten times the replacement space

ITO targets are divided into low-end and high-end:

Low-end ITO targets include glass-coated targets, heat-generating films and heat-reflecting film targets, including automotive display screens and some instrument displays.

High-end ITO targets are mainly used for display thin film targets, integrated circuit thin film targets, and magnetic recording and optical recording film targets, especially for large-area, large-scale LED, OLED and other fields, with high density, high purity, and high uniformity. characteristics such as sex.

The compound growth rate of global ITO targets is about 5.5%. The demand in 2019 is about 1680 tons, and China's demand accounts for 49%.

From the perspective of the global market competition pattern, the preparation of ITO targets is almost monopolized by Japan and South Korea.

Representative companies include JX Nippon Mining Metal, Mitsui Mining, Tosoh, South Korea’s Samsung, etc. Among them, Nippon Mining and Mitsui almost occupy the entire share of ITO targets for the high-end TFT-LCD market and most of the touch screen panel market. The annual supply is said to reach more than 600 tons.

At present, more than half of China's ITO target supply depends on imports. The ITO targets produced by local manufacturers are mainly supplied to the low-end market, accounting for only 30% of the domestic market; while almost all ITO targets for high-end TFT-LCD and touch screens are imported from Japan and South Korea, accounting for 70% of the market share.
Major ITO target manufacturers in Mainland China:

Affected by the imminent expiration of the tax exemption policy for imported target materials, the cost of imported target materials may increase significantly in the future, which will make the cost advantage of domestic ITO target material supply more significant. With the strong support of relevant national policies, high-quality orders will continue to gather in the first echelon enterprises. From an industry perspective, the domestic target material market has at least ten times the room for import substitution.

The advent of "Chinese target" can replace imports

In the laboratory, the reporter saw ITO targets of different sizes. Usually, the larger the size of the target, the fewer the seams sputtered onto the flat plate, and the higher the value.

But from small to large, it is not an easy task. It is precisely because we cannot burn large-size ITO targets that we have been "stuck" for many years.

China is a country with large indium resources, but 80% of the target material market is monopolized by Japan and South Korea. Not only the flat panel display industry depends on people, but the price of high-end ITO target materials also depends on people's faces. In the past, the price of target material was as high as 8,000 yuan per kilogram, but now the price has dropped to 1,300 yuan per kilogram. The 80% drop is due to the advent of "Chinese target".

"The establishment of an independent system for the preparation of ITO targets is related to the safety of emerging display industries accounting for 65% of the world, but in the past, the research and development of ITO targets in China lagged behind by 20 years." Speaking of the past, He Jilin, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and dean of the School of Materials Science and Technology, Zhengzhou University Somewhat distressed.

Why choose this field? Academician He Jilin's answer is very clear: "National strategic needs!"

"At the end of the last century, we paid attention to the research and development of ITO targets. After more than 20 years of scientific and technological research, we have achieved from scratch, independent research and development, and then surpassed them. We have broken the foreign technology blockade and achieved large-size The localization of the whole process of ITO target material preparation."

It is understood that the team of Academician He Jilin innovated and invented the key technology system of ITO target powder preparation, green blank grouting, sintering in an oxygen-free atmosphere and target blank binding, and established a new process flow for ITO target preparation. The perfect whole-process process equipment system and control standards have realized the innovative application of ITO target powder metallurgy technology, and its technical indicators have reached the international advanced level. This technology has made a breakthrough to solve the "stuck neck" problem of key technology and equipment in the whole process of high-performance ITO target material preparation, filling the domestic gap.

With the technical support of Zhengzhou University, a complete ITO target research and development platform and production line have been built. The ITO target produced was successfully used in BOE's high-generation TFT line for the first time in China, which can completely replace imports.

The success of Academician He Jilin's team once again shows that if you want to solve the neck problem, you can only rely on yourself. The core technology cannot be obtained or bought. Finally, I would like to thank Academician He Jilin's team again for more than 20 years of hard work. Without you, our Domestic flat-panel display manufacturers can only continue to look at people's faces and endure more than 6 times the monopoly profiteering price. Sincerely, salute.

Key words:

Research and development,High-end,Realization

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