NanoMarkets Releases New Report on Markets for Indium-Based Materials in the Photovoltaics Industry
Published: August 31, 2011 Category: Advanced Materials Renewable Energy

Glen Allen, Virginia:   Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has just released a new report on the markets for indium-based materials in the rapidly growing photovoltaics (PV) industry.  The report discusses several materials that are widely used in PV including indium tin oxide (ITO), which is used as a transparent conductor in several sectors of the industry; as well as CIGS, one of the fastest types of PV in which indium is a crucial part of the core absorber layer.  The report also examines the role that indium phosphide (InP) may play in the future of photovoltaics.

The report provides eight-year projections (both volume and value) of all of these areas including forecasts of the amount of indium consumed by application and type of material.  It also identifies where the opportunities are for the indium industry in PV and where indium-based materials are being supplanted by non-indium based materials.  Among the firms discussed in this report are: , American Elements, Avancis, China Germanium, China Tin, First Solar, Global Solar, Honda, HelioVolt, Huludao Zinc, Indium Corporation, ISET, MCC Huludao Nonferrous, Mitsui, Nanosolar, Nanoco, Nippon Mining, Nitto Denko, Q-Cells Modules, Sanyo, Showa Shell, Soltecture, SoloPower, Sputtering Materials, Sumitomo, Ulvac, Umicore, Würth, Zhuzhou Keneng New Materials and Zhuzhou Smelter. 

Additional details about this report, Markets for Indium-based Materials in Photovoltaics report are at ;

Key Findings from this report:

The main driver for indium use in the PV industry is the growth of CIGS PV, which will rapidly penetrate conventional PV panels, BIPV and portable PV.  Despite the many substitutes for ITO, significant usage of ITO will continue by PV firms; ITO finds widespread use in a-Si, DSC and OPV PV.

Although alternative deposition methods for ITO and CIGS are often touted, important users in the PV industry prefer sputtering.  NanoMarkets believes that for CIGS space there will be a growing opportunity to sell composite targets containing indium, copper, and gallium.  Also alloy sputtering targets are attractive because of their higher throughput and reduced system cost.

ITO inks are still sold, but seem to be losing out to transparent conducting nanomaterial inks.  CIGS inks have potential, but NanoMarkets believes that it is by no means assured that printed CIGS will become a major part of part of the PV industry going forward.  None of the CIGS inks are currently available in high volume and the history of printed CIGS has been disappointing.  If printed CIGS does take off, however, NanoMarkets sees an opportunity for nanopowder firms to sell related materials to the relevant ink makers.

NanoMarkets expects that the PV industry will start to use more indium phosphide (InP) as the industry seeks out next-generation PV technologies.  But for now, InP PV is much too costly and is not used much outside of a lab and for selected applications in the aerospace industry.  However, NanoMarkets notes that InP consumes very large quantities of indium per unit of cell area.

About NanoMarkets:

NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging market opportunities created by developments in advanced materials. It provides regular and comprehensive industry analysis of the nanomaterials, transparent conductor and photovoltaics spaces and provides ongoing coverage of many of the firms active in the indium and indium-based materials space.  It is also recognized worldwide as a leading source of expertise for materials used in the PV industry. Visit for a full listing of NanoMarkets' reports and other services.


Robert Nolan
(804) 270-4370