NanoMarkets provides market research and industry analysis of opportunities within advanced materials and emerging energy and electronics markets
April 02, 2014 Category: Advanced Materials
Metal meshes – previously not under serious consideration as transparent conductors (TCs) because of their lack of transparency – have now overcome their performance limitations and are seen as serious competition for ITO in several applications, especially those that require large panels for displays, lighting, or solar energy. Bringing metal meshes into larger displays can be a way for metal mesh manufacturers to increase their revenue streams, which now are constrained because the markets that they are chasing, such as touch screen sensors, are not very large.
March 19, 2014 Category: Advanced Materials
Phosphors are critical to the future of LEDs because they address the quality of LED lighting in fundamental ways:
- Greater range of color – beyond combining blue LEDs with yellow phosphors to increase the quality of white light, there are opportunities for high-quality red phosphors to provide better color rendering.
- Improved efficacy and lower cost – existing phosphors have been able to provide LEDs with 100 percent greater increase in LED efficacy and a 50 to 200 percent decline in price, and new phosphor materials may be able to do even better.
These characteristics of phosphors can help expand markets where LEDs are already gaining market share, such as general illumination, and also markets where performance concerns or consumer perception has limited the penetration of LEDs. Phosphor firms have an opportunity to make money out of this situation not just because they are an important enabling technology for LEDs but because existing phosphors are not necessarily up to the task at hand. Some applications will require new phosphor materials with better performance
The outlook for flexible glass has changed dramatically since NanoMarkets last issued a report on flexible glass in December 2012. At the time of that report, flexible glass looked poised for commercial success in the display market – Corning had just seriously launched Willow Glass, other glass suppliers were producing ever thinner glass, and rumors were rampant about bendable or curved displays coming from major OEMs. These displays were supposedly going to feature flexible cover glass.
Flexible glass seemed to be a natural fit for the mobile display market, and NanoMarkets and many others assumed that the first significant revenues for flexible glass would come from the table and mobile phone manufacturers. It looked in 2012 as though 2013 would be the year when that prediction would come to fruition. Obviously, that did not happen, even though the selling points for flexible glass – lighter weight and potentially low cost compared to rigid glass – look on the surface to be exactly what the mobile communications and computing sector needs as smart phones get bigger and tablets become more prevalent.
NanoMarkets believes that in aggregate the opportunities for nanosensors are immense and need for small systems to double as analyzers and data storage entities will drive market growth. But participants in this market must remember that nanosensors are still a new technology, however, and, just as for sensors based on microtechnology, it will take some time for nanosensors to start earning significant revenues. Continuing progress in nanotechnology tools and increasing understanding of nanoscale phenomena, will be necessary to further enhance performance of existing nanosensors and allow researchers to develop nanosensors based on novel mechanisms.
Smart coatings on glass and other substrates have the potential to create added value in a huge range of applications, but this can only be realized if they can provide sufficient performance enhancement at the right price. In the energy industry, the key driver is the desire to improve energy efficiency, and this is especially true in the renewable energy sector. We expect to see increased demand for coatings for solar panels and wind turbines as photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy become more prevalent and improved efficiency and low maintenance costs become increasingly important.
Photochromic materials have been used for many years in self-dimming sunglasses, so it might seem natural for them to make the leap and start appearing in smart windows in automobiles and buildings. There are some very good reasons why this hasn’t happened so far, and why photochromic windows may not ever take an important share of the smart windows market.
NanoMarkets believes that quantum dots have developed to the point where they can be a useful tool in the constant struggle of television display makers to stand out in the marketplace. Although barely out of the R&D phase, quantum dots (QDs) do offer some compelling reasons for adoption in a market that sometimes seems to be very good at offering new technologies and not so good at making them succeed.
January 09, 2014 Category: Advanced Materials
NanoMarkets believes that LED phosphors will continue to play a major role in the development of the LED lighting market. In particular, we think that the use of phosphors in applications such as traffic lights and exit signs will become key drivers for the phosphor market.
More generally, we expect in LED applications where a lower cost per lumen, a high CRI, and a lower cost of ownership can be demonstrated, phosphor penetration will continue to grow. We also think that phosphor choice may help reduce consumer perception of LED lamps as being cold, dull, and above all, unaffordable.
The reason for NanoMarkets being bullish on smart windows in this sense is primarily our belief that there are widespread consumer expectations that the real price of energy will continue to rise for years to come. This will promote the sales of products that promote energy savings; smart windows being one such product type. Buildings need smart windows to comply with LEED or zero-energy requirements. Automobiles adopt smart windows to keep interiors cool and cut down on the need for air-conditioning on sunny days, while letting as much light as possible through on gloomy ones.
We expect these novel market drivers for smart windows to combine with more traditional ones—especially the need to reduce glare in the summer while not obscuring visibility in the winter. But the new market drivers for smart windows based on energy prices, NanoMarkets believes, will help grow the smart windows business dramatically.
October 29, 2013 Category: Advanced Materials
In the past, medical ceramics were represented by ceramic and clay implants that remained inert in the host and acted as scaffolds or supports. Today, the scenario has changed remarkably due to the introduction of an entirely new generation of bioceramics. These implants are, amazingly, structurally and functionally compatible with living tissue in the human body and contribute to the development of new tissue. Over the past two decades, there has been tremendous improvement in the performance of these bioceramics, and technology advances have created a very huge market for ceramics in the medical sector.