R&D in Electronics

Our collaborative and innovative approach to R&D not only sets our Electronics business apart – it ranks us at the head of the industry.

R&D Leads the Way in Innovation and Partnership

The main focus of our research is on the development of innovative materials and technologies required for the manufacturing of ever smaller, faster and more powerful processors and memory chips. In addition, we develop novel materials for next-generation displays and functional and decorative effect pigments for use in the automotive and cosmetics industries and other industrial applications.

R&D by the Numbers

  • 23

    The number of Electronics R&D locations around the world.

  • >1100

    Our dedicated R&D staff members focused on Electronics.

  • 308

    € million we invested in R&D in Electronics in 2022.

Developing advanced materials for next-generation electronics

Our Chief Technology Office (CTO) is identifying trends and vetting technologies that are beyond the time horizon or scope of our business units. As a dedicated technology organization, the CTO is managing research partnerships, shaping our technology roadmaps, and managing our long-term R&D portfolio. We have also created a Technology Leadership Board to review and optimize our technology investment across the business sector. As an essential part of our Level Up growth program, we are investing significantly more than € 3 billion in innovation and capacity until the end of 2025. With these investments, we are also scaling up our research and development capabilities for next-generation semiconductor and display materials to further expand our position as a leading supplier to the electronics industry.

Our Thin Film Solutions business achieved significant progress in advancing critical PORs (Process of Record) and BKMs (Best Known Methods) for both logic and memory devices, by closely partnering with customers and OEMs: we continue to develop innovative solutions for Silicon containing films to address increasingly challenging problems, make progress in developing high-purity metal-containing precursor offerings enabled by newly engineered container delivery systems, and focus on developing new spin-on dielectric materials with improved gap fill and film characteristics for the most advanced semiconductor devices.

Thin Film Solutions

With our Specialty Gases, we continue to make progress with our new etch gas technology program, to develop new chemistries to enable more than 100-layer, single-stack etching for advanced memory devices such as V-NAND. We are also seeing good progress in our etch gas development work for new low-GWP (global warming potential) gases. In August 2022, we announced that we are joining forces with Micron, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, to develop low-GWP gas solutions used in the production of semiconductors.

Specialty Gases

Our scientists are constantly working on new, sophisticated liquid crystal technologies. For example, products made with our eco-friendly, resource-conserving, and efficient liquid crystal technology SA-VA (self-aligned vertical alignment) for large-area displays. We are also leading in the development and production of materials for new technologies such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). OLED Displays operate without a permanent backlight. Each pixel can generate light through an electric current – but only when needed. This reduces power consumption and allows ultra-thin and light shapes.

Display Solutions

In our automotive pigments business, our pipeline consists of three pillars: product development, application engineering, and effect visualization. We are actively working on the extension of our portfolio of Colorstream® multicolor-effect pigments with outstanding saturation in the bluish-red color space as ideal complementation of the existing Colorstream® Lava Red. We will also add a fine light silver Iriodin® pigment to our metallic stylings, offering a unique brightness and opacity.

Effect Pigments

Our market-leading OLED and innovative optoelectronic materials are outstanding examples of our R&D activities in the Advanced Technologies business. In 2016, we realigned our strategic projects for future business fields to mega trends, such as hybrid electronics and electronics packaging, which are developing at a rapid pace. To focus our development efforts, we’re concentrating on markets familiar to those we already hold a leading position in, such as display and semiconductor materials. In addition, we are addressing interdisciplinary topics, such as smart combinations of materials, and working in close collaboration with our customers to create formulations specifically developed and tailored for customer processes.