DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 28, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATMI, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATMI) today announced it has purchased a minority interest in Lake LED Materials of Daejeon, South Korea, a materials technology start-up focused on providing metal organic precursors to the LED (light-emitting diode) market. Under the agreement, ATMI will help accelerate commercial LED materials introductions, with select marketing and technology rights. The collaboration highlights ATMI's technical expertise in process materials for LED applications with its global infrastructure in conjunction with Lake LED Materials' technology. This collaboration represents ATMI's first step in a multi-faceted strategy for addressing process efficiency opportunities in the LED market.

"Light-emitting diodes are the wave of the future for lighting — for TVs, personal electronics, and business and home lighting," said Dan Sharkey, ATMI Executive Vice President, Business Development. "LEDs are a type of semiconductor, and while the basic technology has been around for decades, moving it into cost-effective mass production requires developing the enabling materials that can be readily incorporated into high volume production. Just as ATMI has created a pre-eminent position in materials with traditional semiconductor manufacturers, we believe that, working jointly with Lake LED Materials, we can establish a similar enabling materials position with leading global LED manufacturers."

"ATMI's investment in Lake LED Materials not only confirms the value of our high efficiency production technology, but also supports further production and research and development expansions," said Jin-dong Kim, Lake LED Materials Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

About Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

A light-emitting diode is a solid-state semiconductor device that emits light without requiring a filament, like incandescent bulbs, or a gas, like fluorescent bulbs. Projected lifetimes of LEDs can be up to 50,000 hours, compared with up to 10,000 for compact fluorescent bulbs, or 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs.

Strategies Unlimited forecasts a $20 billion overall market for high-brightness LEDs by 2014, a more than 30% compound average annual growth rate from 2009. DisplaySearch believes 3 of every 4 televisions will be LED models by 2014, doubling from 100 million units in 2012 to more than 200 million in 2014.