QLight Nanotech, a Jerusalem based start-up backed and partly owned by Merck,
opened a new facility in Jerusalem last week to further its development of LED
lighting and flat-panel display products using semiconductor nanocrystal
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who attended the opening, pointed
to the new opening as a sign of Jerusalem’s investment. Qlight is a subsidiary
of Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of
“For the past few years we have been focusing on expanding
Jerusalem’s hi-tech and biomed industries, which are in the critical path of
success for the city,” Barkat said. “The partnership between Qlight Nanotech and
Merck is an excellent example of how we can harness the power of Jerusalem’s top
institutions, like the Hebrew University, and leverage our applied research to a
Merck first invested in QLight in 2012, though the
companies have not disclosed details of the investment. The agreement called for
an additional investment by Merck upon QLight reaching certain development
“There is ongoing discussion on the next round of
investment,” Bernd Reckmann, head of Merck’s chemicals division, told Reuters
during a visit to Israel. “It has not yet been decided.”
was established in 2009, and Merck have been carrying out joint research into
this new class of materials for several years as part of a partnership program
supported by the Chief Scientist’s Office.
The new technology will help
to innovate the LCD display market, Reckmann said.
“It gives tools to
improve the quality of the picture in brightness and color range,” he said. The
technology also helps cut energy consumption of flat-screen TVs, Merck
While LCD (liquid crystal display) is one of Merck’s biggest cash
generators, the German group is also investing in OLED, a display technology
that could succeed LCD.
Organic light-emitting diode displays are
thinner, more energy efficient and offer higher-contrast images than
“OLED is still the only technology which has the potential to take
market share in the display arena from LCD, but it’s still in its infancy,”
Reckmann said. “There are a lot of technical challenges, especially on the
Analysts believe OLED will not take significant
share – 10 percent or more – of the display market before 2017-18.
success of technologies such as QLight’s in innovating the LCD market will also
make it more difficult for OLED, Reckmann added.