This technical information has been contributed by
BCC Research

Big Trend: Nanotechnology in Thin Film Materials Markets, Reports BCC Research



WELLESLEY, Mass.–During the past 70 years, deposition of thick, thin, and ultrathin films has spurred device miniaturization while contributing to the rapid growth of industry sectors, most notably, electronics. In its new report, BCC Research states that with the development of nanofilms, the era of nanoelectronics has arrived. The report, "Global Markets, Technologies and Materials for Thin and Ultrathin Films," (SMC057C) analyzes the technologies, materials, and emerging applications relating to ultrathin films.

Thin films, which are films with a thickness below 5 microns, are produced by applying various production technologies. These technologies comprise three main categories: physical, chemical, and additive processes. In turn, those three can be subdivided based on their characteristics and operating principles. The seven subcategories are evaporation, sputtering, ionic deposition, chemical vapor deposition, liquid-phase deposition, plating-type methods, and printing.

The total market for thin film materials should reach almost $9.8 billion and $11.3 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively. That reflects a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 percent. Chemical processes (including chemical vapor deposition, liquid-phase deposition and plating-type deposition methods) are estimated to total $6.1 billion in 2016, accounting for 62.2 percent of the total global market. Sales of thin film materials for chemical processes are generated primarily by their utilization in electroplating, for manufacturing protective coatings for the mechanical/chemical sector and electronic devices.

BCC Research, a publisher of market research reports, partners with industry experts worldwide to provide measurements and assessments of global markets covering major industrial and technology sectors, including emerging markets.

Physical processes (including evaporation, sputtering and ionic deposition) should account for 36 percent in 2016, reaching total revenues of $3.5 billion, according to BCC Research. In recent years, additive processes (i.e., printing) have emerged as alternative low-cost methods for the fabrication of thin films. Additive processes are estimated to generate thin film material sales of $180 million in 2016, or 1.8 percent of the total market value.

On-going miniaturization in the semiconductor industry impacts other sectors, as seen in the continuous effort in the thin films market to create components and products that are smaller, thinner, and lighter. In addition, new developments in nanotechnology are impacting advances in materials and fabrication methods for producing very thin films smaller than 30 nanometers or those with a thickness measured in atoms.

Miniaturization trends in electronics, optoelectronics, and other industry sectors (life sciences, energy, sensors, and instrumentation, for example) are driving market growth, as well. However, the need to produce devices that can target mass markets and compete on price is increasing the pressure to utilize lower-cost manufacturing processes. Consequently, the thin film industry is seeking printing methods to fabricate a new generation of miniature devices.

"In recent years, following advances in nanotechnology, printing inks based on nanomaterials (e.g., nanopowders, nanofibers, nanowires, and nanotubes) have become available," said BCC Research analyst Margareth Gagliardi, in a statement. "These inks are suitable for manufacturing very thin films adopting technologies that, until a few years ago, were only used to manufacture thick film devices. As a result, the distinction between thin film processes and thick film processes has blurred. Thin film processes based on printing of nanomaterials are becoming increasingly popular, but they still represent a small share of the entire industry."

This technical information has been contributed by
BCC Research

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