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Register for NanoMarkets' Q&A Teleconference on Transparent Conductor Markets: (click here)In this report, NanoMarkets examines the business case for using alternative transparent conductors -- that is transparent conductors other than ITO -- in key applications including displays, lighting and photovoltaics. The materials that we consider in this report are primarily other TCOs, conductive polymers, nanosilver coatings, and nanocarbon coatings.We begin by taking a look at the current and future performance factors of the major alternatives to ITO and comparing them in quantitative terms with ITO. We then go on to consider how these comparisons are likely to change over time, especially given the early technology stage at which transparent conducting nanomaterials find themselves. The principal ways in which we make these comparisons is in terms of transparency, conductivity, flexibility/resiliency and cost, although we also cover other factors too.In the second part of this report, we examine the business cases that have been made in all the applications areas in which transparent conductors are used and how these are likely to evolve over the next few years as materials and end user technologies change. In particular, we look at how the arrival of next-generation displays, solid-state lighting and new types of solar panels are shifting the balance against ITO. And we show how the relative advantages of the various transparent conductors being offered are translated into cost savings and money making opportunities in each of the applications areas being considered.NanoMarkets believes that now is the time for a serious reexamination of the business cases that make the most sense in the alternative transparent conductor markets. We regard this report as especially timely as indium prices look set to rise again, both as the result of an improving economy and under pressure from Chinese supply constraints. Both technological change and economics are about to change the picture for ITO completely and with that will upset existing business cases in the transparent conductor space. With this in mind, we are publishing this report as a guide to how transparent conductor choices will be made in the future.Our analysis draws on NanoMarkets’ deep understanding of the transparent conductor market and of the strategies of the firms seeking to supply the materials in question. This report will be essential reading for firms in the transparent conductor business, whether existing or newcomers, and whether they supply ITO or an alternative material. It will also provide valuable insight to investors in those firms, as well as firms that use ITO and seek to reduce costs by substituting another material.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive SummaryE.1 Why the Old Business Cases for ITO Alternatives are Not EnoughE.1.1 ITO and Costs: The Real StoryE.1.2 Why ITO Alternatives Have Never Made MoneyE.2 Components of the New Business Case for ITO AlternativesE.2.1 Business Cases for Mature Alternatives: TCOs and PolymersE.2.2 Business Cases for Transparent Conductive NanomaterialsE.3 Who Will Be the Early Adopters of Nanomaterial-Based Transparent Conductors?E.4 Selling Manufacturers on the Benefits of Alternative Transparent ConductorsChapter One: Introduction1.1 Background to this Report1.1.1 Why Alternative Transparent Conductors May Not Take Off1.1.2 Making the Business Case for ITO Alternatives1.1.3 Footholds: Alternative TCOs and Conductive Polymers1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report1.3 Methodology of this Report1.4 Plan of this ReportChapter Two: Technical and Cost Components of Transparent Conductor Business Cases2.1 Current Material Choices for Transparent Conductors: From ITO to Nanomaterials2.1.1 ITO2.1.2 Other TCOs2.1.3 Conductive Polymers2.1.4 Nanosilver Films2.1.5 Carbon Nanotube Films2.2 Comparison of Transparent Conductors as Transparent Materials2.2.1 Likelihood of Transparency Improvements: From Where Will They Emerge?2.3 How Conductive are Transparent Conductors?2.3.1 Likelihood of Improved Conductivity: From Where Will It Emerge?2.4 The Flexibility and Resiliency Issue2.4.1 How Fragile is ITO Really?2.4.2 How Resilient are ITO Alternatives?2.5 Cost Issues2.5.1 Likely Cost Trends for ITO2.5.2 Polymers and TCOs as Low-Cost Alternatives to ITO2.5.3 Price Expectations for Nanomaterials Used as Transparent Conductors2.4 Key Points Made in this ChapterChapter Three: Transparent Conductor Business Cases: Application by Application3.1 The Ongoing Case for ITO in LCD Displays3.1.1 Can ITO Ever be Dislodged from its Throne in the LCD Business?3.1.2 Where a Case Has Been Made for an Alternative Transparent Conductor: The Case of the Plasma Display3.2 Making the Case for ITO Replacement in Touch-Screen Displays3.2.1 Analog Resistive3.2.2 Projected Capacitive3.3 Likely Trends for Transparent Conductors in the OLED Space3.3.1 How the New AMOLED Makers are Likely to View Transparent Conductors3.3.2 How Will the New OLED Lighting Business Look at Transparent Conductors?3.4 Making the Business Case for Transparent Conductors in EPDs and Flexible Displays3.5 How the Business Case for Transparent Conductors is Made in the PV Sector3.5.1 Differences by Absorber Materials3.5.2 Likely Impact of PV Industry Thinking on the Display Industry3.6 The Business Case for Transparent Conductors in Antistatic Coatings and EMC Applications3.7 Key Points Made in this ChapterAcronyms and Abbreviations Used In this ReportAbout the AuthorList of Exhibits:Exhibit E-1: Summary of Transparent Conductor Markets ($ Millions)Exhibit 2-1: Transparent Conductor Material Types, Advantages, and DisadvantagesExhibit 2-2: Transparency of Transparent Conductive Material TypesExhibit 2-3: Sheet Resistance of Transparent Conductive Material TypesExhibit 2-4: Flexibility of Transparent Conductive Material TypesExhibit 2-5: Cost of Transparent Conductive Material TypesExhibit 3-1: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for LCD DisplaysExhibit 3-2: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for Plasma DisplaysExhibit 3-3: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for Touch-Screen DisplaysExhibit 3-4: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for OLED Display ElectrodesExhibit 3-5: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for OLED Lighting ElectrodesExhibit 3-6: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for EPDsExhibit 3-7: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for PV ElectrodesExhibit 3-8: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for ESD and EMC Applications