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REPORT # Nano-735 PUBLISHED August 20, 2014
Transparent Conductor Markets 2014-2021
CATEGORIES :
  • Advanced Materials
  • SUMMARY
    During the past year the transparent conductor (TCs) market has continued to evolve.  It seems that all the focus remains on the touch panel sector, where alternatives to ITO have genuinely established themselves. As a result, this latestreport in NanoMarkets’ seven years of coverage of the transparent conductor market focuses heavily on the realities of the touch-sensor market for alternative TCs.  Acknowledging that this is where the money is for now, we also discuss how some industry estimates of touch opportunities appear to be exaggerated and how there are serious technology challenges for touch down the road – challenges such as gestural control – that could hurt the current TC boomlet.
     
    We also examine what other big changes are appearing in the TC opportunity space.  The solar panel business is back, but with a new mix of PV technologies.  What will this mean for the TC space?  OLED lighting, which looked like might go into decline in our previous report, now looks like it is back on the board as a possible mass consumer of TCs.  At the same time some the great hopes for alternative TCs, such as OLED TVs and flexible displays seem increasingly fanciful and may be areas that alternative TC firms pursue at their peril.
     
    The interest in the various alternative transparent conductors is also shifting.  Metal meshes are no longer quite the “flavor of the month,” that they were last year.  And carbon nanotube-based TCs seem to be making a quiet comeback in Asia 
     
    In this dynamic market environment, NanoMarkets believes that this new report provides the necessary strategic insight into how TC firms can best generate new business revenues in the in the display, solar panel and other sectors. This report also analyzes important developments on the TC materials front and it takes a look at what the next generation of transparent conductors will be like and how these materials will extend addressable markets. 
     
    This study also contains detailed eight-year forecasts in volume (square meters) and value terms.  For each of the applications covered there are breakouts of demand for ITO, other TCOs, ITO/TCO inks, carbon nanotube films, nanosilver-based TCs, metal grids and conductive polymers.  We have also included a forecast of ITO products by type (sputtering targets, films, coated glass, etc.).  Finally, the strategies of the leading TC firms are also assessed in the context of the latest market developments.
     
    NanoMarkets has been covering the TC market for seven years and its studies in this area are widely regarded as the most reliable insider analysis publicly available.
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS
    Executive Summary
    E.1 What Has Changed Since Last Year?
    E.2 Alternative TCs Making a Difference:  Part I—The ITO Industry Strikes Back
    E.3 Alternative TCs Making A Difference:  Part II–Touch and Beyond
    E.3.1 Alternative TCs in Touch
    E.3.2 OLEDs, Transparent Conductors and Market Realities
    E.3.3 PV Resurgent:  Who Cares?
    E.3.4 Will the LCD Industry Ever Open Up to Alternative Transparent Conductors?
    E.3.5  Flexible Panels:  Still Waiting for Godot?
    E.4 TC Materials and Companies to Watch:  Heavy Metal
    E.4.1 Silver Nanomaterial Coatings and Metal Meshes:  Becoming a Standard for an ITO Alternative
    E.4.2 Other Alternative TCs
    E.5 The China Situation
    E.6 Summary of Eight-Year Market Forecasts for Transparent Conductor Markets
     
    Chapter One: Introduction
    1.1 Background to this Report
    1.1.1 Alternative TCs:  Flavors of the Month
    1.1.2 Beyond the Touch Screen:  Solar, OLEDs, etc.
    1.1.3 China Looming
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
    1.2.1 Materials Covered in this Report
    1.2.2 Sectors Covered in this Report
    1.3 Methodology of this Report
    1.3.1 Forecasting Methodology
    1.3.2 Assumptions About Materials Utilization, Wastage and Yields
    1.3.3 Cost Assumptions
    1.3.4 General Economic Assumptions
    1.3.5 Sources of Data
    1.4 Plan of this Report
     
    Chapter Two: Recent Technology and Market Trends for ITO
    2.1 Current Developments in the ITO Sector
    2.2 ITO Pricing and the ITO Value Proposition
    2.2.1 The Chinese Pricing Threat Fails
    2.2.2 “Specmanship” and the ITO Value Proposition
    2.3 The Transition to Rotary Sputtering
    2.3.1 Alternatives to Sputtering
    2.4 New ITO Materials as a Response to Competition
    2.4.1 Resistivity Issues and the Market
    2.4.2 ITO and Flexibility Redux
    2.4.3 Thermal Issues
    2.5 Changes in the ITO Supply Chain and Product Offerings
    2.5.1 ITO Glass
    2.5.2 Prospects for ITO Film Markets
    2.5.3 Any Hope for ITO Inks?
    2.5.4 ITO Sputtering Target Markets
    2.6 Eight-Year Forecast of ITO Markets
    2.6.1 Forecast of ITO Inks
    2.6.2 Summary of ITO Forecasts by Type of ITO Product: Targets, Film and Coated Glass
    2.7 Key Points Made in this Chapter
     
    Chapter Three:  Other Transparent Conducting Oxides:  A Commercial Future
    3.1 Non-ITO TCOs:  Have they Had their Day?
    3.1.1 Tin Oxide and its Variants
    3.1.2 Zinc Oxide and its Variants
    3.2 More TCOs for the Future?
    3.2.1 Other Possibilities
    3.3 Are Other TCOs Really a Drop-In Replacement?
    3.4 TCOs in PV:  The Market in 2014 and Beyond
    3.5 Eight-Year Forecast of Non-ITO Markets
    3.6 Key Points from this Chapter
     
    Chapter Four: Markets for Metal-Based Materials as Transparent Conductors
    4.1 Evolution of Transparent Conductors Using Metals
    4.2 Metal Meshes:  Changes in the Market Since Last Year
    4.2.1 Advantages, Applications and Competition in the Metal Mesh Business
    4.2.2 Metal Mesh Suppliers
    4.3 Nanowire Solutions:  Cambrios, Carestream and 3M
    4.3.1 Suppliers of Ag NW Transparent Conductors
    4.4 Suppliers of Metal-Based Transparent Conductors:  Cima NanoTech and the Others
    4.4.1 Metallic Films:  A  Material for Future Transparent Conductors?
    4.4.2 Cima NanoTech
    4.5 Are there Opportunities for Copper in the Transparent Conductor Market?
    4.6 Eight-Year Forecast of Metal Transparent Conductor Markets
    4.6.1 Metal Meshes
    4.6.2 Silver Nanowires
    4.6 Key Points from this Chapter
     
    Chapter Five: Markets for Other Transparent Conducting Materials
    5.1 Other Materials
    5.2 Conductive Polymers as Transparent Conductors: Continuing to Move Forward
    5.2.1 PEDOT
    5.2.2 Conductive Polymers in OLEDs
    5.2.3 Other Applications
    5.2.4 Eight-Year Forecast of Transparent Conductive Polymer Markets
    5.2.5 Cost Trends for PEDOT
    5.2.6 PEDOT Suppliers for Transparent Conductor Applications
    5.2.7 Possible Technology Developments in Conductive Polymers
    5.3 Carbon Nanotubes as Transparent Conductors: Loser or Gaining New Ground?
    5.3.1 Suppliers of CNT TCs
    5.3.2 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Carbon Nanotubes for  Transparent Conductors
    5.3.3 Limiting the Carbon Nanotube: Making Them "Just Conductors"
    5.3.4 Derivatization of Carbon Nanotubes
    5.3.5 Eight-Year Forecast of Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductor Markets
    5.4 Graphene:  Does it Stand a Chance in the Transparent Conductor Market?
    5.5 Other Developments:  “Fourth-Generation” Transparent Conductors
    5.6 Eight-Year Forecast of Other Transparent Conductor Materials Markets
    5.7 Key Points Made in this Chapter
     
    Chapter Six:  Emerging Markets for Transparent Conductors
    6.1 Touch-Screen Sensors:  The TC Industry’s Favorite Opportunity
    6.1.1 TCs, Sensor Substrates and Sensor Architectures
    6.1.2 Projected-Capacitive Touch Sensors as a Market for Transparent Conductors
    6.1.3 The Shift to New Touch Module: Prospects for Transparent Conductor Makers
    6.1.4 The Analog-Resistive Touch Sensors as a Market for Transparent Conductors
    6.1.5 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the Touch-Screen Sensor Industry
    6.2 Transparent Conductors and the OLED Industry’s Great Leaps Forward
    6.2.1 The OLED Market Explodes Slowly
    6.2.2 How OLEDs Potentially Shrink the TC Market
    6.2.3 The Quest to Get Rid of ITO in OLEDs
    6.2.4 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the OLED Display and Lighting Market
    6.3 Transparent Conductors for E-paper
    6.3.1 Varieties of E-Paper Displays and their TC Requirements
    6.3.2 Shifts from ITO in the E-Paper Space
    6.3.3 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the E-Paper Display and Lighting Market
    6.4 Conventional Flat-Panel Displays: Stuck On ITO Forever?
    6.4.1 Strategies for non-ITO Transparent Conductor Firms in the LCD Market
    6.4.2 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the Flat-Panel Display Industry
    6.4.3 Notes on Transparent Conductors in Plasma Displays
    6.4.4 A Note on the Impact of Transparent Displays on the Transparent Conductor Market
    6.4.5 Flexible Electronics Mythologies and Realities: Their Impact on the Transparent Conductor Market
    6.5 Transparent Conductors and the Future of Solar Panels
    6.5.1 Transparent Conductor Usage for the Thin-Film Silicon PV Sector
    6.5.2 Transparent Conductor Usage for CdTe PV
    6.5.3 Transparent Conductors in CIGS PV Market
    6.5.4 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the Thin-Film  PV Market
    6.5.5 Organic PV and Dye Sensitized Cells: A Worthwhile Market for Transparent Conductor Suppliers
    6.5.6 Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductors in the OPV/DSC Market
    6.6 IR and UV Protection Opportunities for Transparent Conductors
    6.7 Antistatic Applications for Transparent Conductors
    6.7.1 Antistatic Markets in the Building Products Industry
    6.7.2 ESD Applications for the Electronics Market
    6.7.3 Tin Oxide as an Antistatic Coating
    6.7.4 Zinc Oxide as an Antistatic Coating
    6.7.5 Eight-Year Forecast of Transparent Conductors for Antistatic Coatings
    6.8 Transparent Conductors in EMI/RFI Shielding
    6.8.1 Eight-Year Forecast of Transparent Conductors for EMI Shielding
    6.9 Smart Windows Applications for Transparent Conductors
    6.9.1 Low-E Windows
    6.9.2 Solar Control Films
    6.9.3 Electrochromic (EC) and Suspended Particle Device (SPD) Technologies
    6.9.4 PDLC Active On-Demand Smart Windows
    6.9.5 Thermochromic Smart Glass
    6.9.6 Self-Cleaning Windows
    6.10 Yet Other Markets for Transparent Conductors
    6.11 Key Points Made in this Chapter
    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
    About the Author

    List of Exhibits
    Exhibit E-1:  Addressable Markets for non-ITO Transparent Conductors    
    Exhibit E-2:  NanoMarkets' Perspective and Expectations of Penetration of Selected Transparent Conductor Materials    
    Exhibit E-3: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductive Materials by Material Type ($ Millions)    
    Exhibit E-4:  Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductive Materials by Application ($ Millions)    
    Exhibit 2-1:  ITO Products in Current Use    
    Exhibit 2-2:  Summary of Forecast of ITO by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 2-3:  Summary of Forecast of ITO and TCO Inks by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 2-4:   ITO Market by End-User Product Process (1) ($ Millions)    
    Exhibit 3-1: Summary of Forecast of non-ITO TCOs by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 4-1:  Metal Meshes and Ag Nanowires as TCs    
    Exhibit 4-2:  Summary of Forecast of Metal Meshes by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 4-3:  Summary of Forecast of  Silver Nanowires by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 5-1: Summary of Forecast of Transparent Conductive Polymers by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 5-2: Summary of Forecast of Carbon Nanotube Films by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 5-3:  Summary of Forecast of Other Transparent Conductive Materials by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
    Exhibit 6-1: Why the Touch Sensor Business is Attractive for Transparent Conductor Makers    
    Exhibit 6-2: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for Touch-Screen Sensors    
    Exhibit 6-3: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in Touch-Screen Display Sensors    
    Exhibit 6-4: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Touch-Screen Display Sensors    
    Exhibit 6-5:  Long-Term Issues that ITO Faces in the OLED Market    
    Exhibit 6-6: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for OLED Display Electrodes    
    Exhibit 6-7:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in OLED Displays (Excludes OLED Lighting)    
    Exhibit 6-8:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement by Type in OLED  (Excludes OLED Lighting)    
    Exhibit 6-9:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in OLED Lighting    
    Exhibit 6- 10: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in OLED Lighting    
    Exhibit 6-11: Important R for Transparent Conductors Used for EPDs    
    Exhibit 6-12:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in E-Paper Displays    
    Exhibit 6-13:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in E-Paper Displays    
    Exhibit 6-14:  Important Requirements for Transparent Conductors Used for LCD Displays    
    Exhibit 6-15: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in Flat-Panel Displays (LCD and PDP)    
    Exhibit 6-16:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in LCDs and PDPs    
    Exhibit 6-17: Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for Plasma Displays    
    Exhibit 6-18: Flexibility of Transparent Conductive Material Types    
    Exhibit 6-19:  Selected Flexible Display Frontplane Technologies    
    Exhibit 6-20:  Potential Opportunities for non-ITO Transparent Conductors in the Flexible Display Market    
    Exhibit 6-21:  Important Parameters for Transparent Conductors Used for PV Electrodes    
    Exhibit 6-22:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in Thin-Film Photovoltaics    
    Exhibit 6-23:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Thin-Film Photovoltaics    
    Exhibit 6-24:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirement in OPV/DSC    
    Exhibit 6-25:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in OPV/DSC    
    Exhibit 6-26:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Antistatic Coatings    
    Exhibit 6-27:  Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Electromagnetic Shielding

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