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The past year has seen important developments in the transparent conductors arena. While 2009 was a year of risk aversion for the users of ITO and one of delay and reassessment for the makers of alternative transparent conductors, in 2010 the specter of rising indium prices has given the makers of alternative transparent conductors a more focused target on industries that are both in the early stages of emergence and preparing to face performance and cost pressures in the near future. This report thoroughly analyzes the opportunities for these alternative transparent conductors as well as those for ITO to retain and even grow its share in some segments. In particular, we look at the future for ITO in the many applications in which final product prices are expected to decline, while ITO costs are expected to increase. How big a share of the BOM can ITO eat , before OEMs start turning to alternatives.Newer, emerging technologies like OLED lighting and OPV are recognizing that they must adopt new transparent conducting materials—and soon—not only to keep costs in control but also to boost performance and to enhance the flexibility that sets these technologies apart from those they compete with. In addition, the long-standing dissatisfaction of the touch-screen industry with ITO is again taking center stage as touch-screen technologies diverge into high-end and low-end varieties. The low-end touch-screens—mainly analog-resistive ones—continue to face durability issues with the repeated flexing of brittle ITO while cost issues are escalating as ITO returns to higher price points. Meanwhile, at the high-end of the touch-screen market the focus is turning toward improving optical and electrical performance, especially if doing so can provide pathways to lower cost as well. And newer transparent conductors are not limited to the electrodes in displays and touch-screens; they are also beginning to displace other materials for electromagnetic shielding and electrostatic charge dissipation.This is not to say that ITO is on the way out everywhere. Indeed, in ITO’s largest market by far—conventional flat-panel displays, especially LCDs—process conservatism and performance sensitivity will cause ITO to remain the dominant transparent conductor in this huge market, and in the overall transparent conductor market, throughout the eight-year scope of this report.With these considerations in mind, this report provides a new opportunity analysis against the backdrop of the transparent conductor market landscape: ITO, the clear leader in both the largest market—displays—and in applications that are not yet commercial; other transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) that provide cost relief but little else; transparent organic conductors that are having a heyday in antistatic and other lower-performance applications; and the expanding field of nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, graphene, metal nanowires and nanoparticles, and composite materials combining one or more of these materials, sometimes with others like ITO or organics. The report also explores the alternative approaches to ITO deposition, mainly the on-again, off-again efforts toward commercializing ITO inks.This report is required reading for all suppliers of ITO and alternative transparent conductors as well as for firms using transparent conductors—especially if considering a change to a different material or process—and investors in the transparent conductor companies, materials, and technologies. We discuss strategic marketing issues and provide forecasts of the market penetration of each of the transparent conductor classes, as well as discussing the latest activities of the leading and most promising companies working in this field.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive SummaryE.1 2010:The Slow Road to Recovery and the Impact on Transparent Conductor MarketsE.2 ITO's Strongholds: Where ITO Is Assured of a Growing MarketE.3 ITO Ceding Ground: Where Alternative Transparent Conductors Will Make Major InroadsE.4 Opportunities for Other Transparent Conducting OxidesE.5 Opportunities for Transparent Organic ConductorsE.6 Opportunities for NanomaterialsE.7 Firms to WatchE.8 Summary of ForecastsChapter One: Introduction1.1 Background to this Report1.1.1 The Cost of ITO: Certain to be Uncertain1.1.2 The Alternative Transparent Conductors: Trying Again1.1.3 The Applications: Will They Stay with ITO or Will They Go?1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report1.3 Methodology of this Report1.4 Plan of this ReportChapter Two: New Developments in ITO and Other Transparent Conductors2.1 Introduction2.2 ITO and Cost: The Rebounding Market for Indium2.2.1 Is the Indium Market Different Now than Before the Recession?2.2.2 Recycling and Reclamation of Indium and ITO2.2.3 Will the Indium Scare Return?2.3 Addressing ITO's Flexibility and Wastage Concerns: Alternative Deposition2.3.1 ITO Inks and Printing2.3.2 Particle Production for Inks and Other Deposition Processes2.4 Addressing Just the Cost: Other Transparent Conducting Oxides2.4.1 Tin Oxide and Coated Glass Substrates2.4.2 Zinc Oxide and the Top of the Layer Stack2.4.3 Other TCOs, With and Without Indium2.5 Transparent Organic Conductors as a Low-Cost, Flexible Alternative2.5.1 PEDOT:PSS and Performance2.5.2 Cost Trends for PEDOT:PSS2.6 Nanosilver and Other Nanometals: Metal's New Life as a Conductor2.6.1 From Metal Grids to Random Metal Networks2.6.2 Cost Considerations with Nanosilver2.6.3 Nanosilver's Opportunities2.7 Carbon Nanotubes: The Prospect of Higher Performance and Lower Cost2.7.1 Limiting the Carbon Nanotube: Making Them "Just Conductors"2.7.2 Opportunities for Transparent Carbon Nanotube Films2.7.3 The Carbon Nanotube Cost Roadmap2.7.4 A Word about Graphene2.8 Key Points Made In This ChapterChapter Three: Applications and Markets for ITO and Other Transparent Conductors3.1 Introduction3.2 Conventional Flat-Panel Display Markets: Stuck On ITO3.2.1 Efforts to Introduce Different Transparent Conductors3.2.2 What Will It Take to Displace ITO?3.3 E-Paper, OLEDs, and the Promise of Flexibility3.3.1 Where E-Paper Stands with Regard to Transparent Conductors3.3.2 The Elusive Goal of Flexibility3.4 Touch Screens: Increasing Demands on Transparent Conductors3.4.1 Analog-Resistive Touch Screens and the Durability Issue3.4.2 Analog-Resistive Touch Screens and the Cost Issue3.4.3 Projected-Capacitive Touch Screens: Where Transparency and Conductivity Rule3.4.4 Transparent Conductors in Other Touch-Screen Technologies3.5 Photovoltaics: ITO on the Way Out3.5.1 Thin-Film Silicon and the Ongoing Exodus from ITO3.5.2 OPV and DSC: What Will Replace ITO, and Will It Matter?3.5.3 Are FTO and AZO Here to Stay?3.6 Solid-State Lighting: Rapid Changes and the Impact on Transparent Conductors3.6.1 The Quest for Anything But ITO3.6.2 When Will OLED Lighting Go Flexible?3.7 Other Applications for Transparent Conductive Coatings3.7.1 Transparent Antistatic Coatings3.7.2 Transparent Electromagnetic Shielding3.8 Key Points Made in this ChapterChapter Four: Eight-Year Forecasts for ITO and Alternative Transparent Conductor Markets4.1 Forecasting Methodology4.1.1 Market Segments Covered4.1.2 Differences from Last Year's Forecasts4.2 Alternative Scenarios4.3 Eight-Year Forecasts of ITO and Other Transparent Conductors by Material Type4.4 Eight-Year Forecasts of ITO and Other Transparent Conductors by Application4.4.1 Flat-Panel Displays4.4.2 Touch-Screen Displays4.4.3 Flexible and E-Paper Displays4.4.4 OLED Lighting4.4.5 Thin-Film and Organic Photovoltaics4.4.6 Electromagnetic Shielding and Antistatic Coatings4.5 Summary of ForecastsAbbreviations an Acronyms Used In this ReportAbout the AuthorList of ExhibitsExhibit E-1: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductive Materials by Material TypeExhibit E-2: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Transparent Conductive Materials by Application ($ Millions)Exhibit 2-1: Indium Price and Production Trends (Values in Metric Tons Unless Noted)Exhibit 2-2: Council to Promote Commercialization of Zinc Oxide FilmExhibit 4-1: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Material Type ($ Millions)Exhibit 4-2: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in Flat-Panel DisplaysExhibit 4-3: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Flat-Panel DisplaysExhibit 4-4: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in Touch-Screen DisplaysExhibit 4-5: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Touch Screen DisplaysExhibit 4-6: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Material Requirements in Flexible and E-Paper DisplaysExhibit 4-7: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Flexible and E-Paper DisplaysExhibit 4-8: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in OLED LightingExhibit 4-9: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in OLED LightingExhibit 4-10: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in Thin-Film and Organic PhotovoltaicsExhibit 4-11: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Thin-Film PhotovoltaicsExhibit 4-12: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Electromagnetic ShieldingExhibit 4-13: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Type in Antistatic CoatingsExhibit 4-14: Summary of Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials by Application ($ Millions)