Table of ContentsIntroductionOverviewNanometal Inks and Pastes as Case History: Isn’t High Performance Enough?Markets where Nanometals are Expected to Do WellsMarkets for NanometalsConclusionAbout Nanomarkets
Factors that need to be considered while assessing the market potential for Nanometals are listed below:
- Considerably thin metal layers are routinely deposited using vacuum evaporation, sputtering, etc. in the semiconductor industry.
- Some Nanometals are now used routinely in medical and healthcare applications. Nanosilver powders are a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent and colloidal nanosilver has been used in a range of treatments for decades. Nanogold has some interesting applications in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
These uses for Nanometals suggest established skillsets that can be used in other applications spaces such as electronics and energy applications. But there are also other ways in which the use of Nanometals in medicine has implications for the energy and electronics space. One of these is the fact that developments of new materials for medicine have implications for medical electronics. Another is the fact that history here has implications for how much it may be possible to regulate nanosilver and therefore restrict its use/sale in electronics and energy applications. The regulatory powers of government agencies are often defined in terms of their power over “new” materials and it has been argued that because of the longstanding use of colloidal silver, nanosilver is not new.
Nanometal Inks and Pastes as Case History: Isn’t High Performance Enough?
The research market for Nanometals, and indeed nanomaterials in general is exploding according to NanoMarkets.
Nanosilver inks and pastes have been brought to market by a number of firms over the past seven years and claim a number of impressive characteristics including low curing temperatures, ability to be printed with an accurate inkjet printer, high conductivity, etc.
Nanosilver inks have been used in some niche markets outside the research market such as specialized sensors and nanopastes have been sold into the plasma display panel (PDP) and solar panel markets. NanoMarkets has revised its market projections for nanosilver inks and pastes down considerably since they first started covering this area five years ago.
The reason why nanosilver inks and pastes have not become highly popular according to NanoMarkets include:
- The costs of switching to new materials have been too high and/or
- The prices of the new nanosilver inks and pastes have been too high, and/or
- The marketing story that is being told about low curing temperatures, less material being used, etc., simply isn’t compelling enough.
Markets where Nanometals are Expected to Do Well
According to NanoMarkets, the relative failure of printed nanosilver can be attributed to all three of the factors listed above to some extent, but that the third factor mentioned above is the most important in terms of how the makers of Nanometals should be thinking about their products in terms of business and market strategy.
NanoMarkets feels that for the first factor, the switching costs are real but not huge for instance, getting rid of some old screen printing machines and substituting fast industrial inkjet. It may be possible to retain screen printing machinery with nanosilver paste so this capital investment also may not be required. As far as the second factor is concerned, the higher prices of nanosilver inks are supposed to be balanced by the higher performance of these inks, but even if they aren't, the prices are at the discretion of the inkmakers.
NanoMarkets feels that to enable Nanometals (individually and collectively) to make a mark, it will be necessary to show how these materials can do something more than just improve costs.
Markets for Nanometals
The details of the kinds of markets that can provide returns for the manufacturers of Nanometals are comprehensively provided in the report. A few examples are listed below:
- In the case of gold nanoparticles, research seems to indicate that they could potentially revolutionize both optical storage and photovoltaics, essentially by expanding efficiency in both.
- The examples above are examples of where Nanometals such as gold nanoparticles -may prove to be a key enabling technology for important mass-market product improvements.
To summarize there seems to be at least three product market strategies that can be employed in the Nanometals space. The most obvious is to provide Nanometals as a close economic substitute for a material that is being used presently, promising advantages and especially lower costs. NanoMarkets believes that if Nanometals are to emerge as a significant business then greater risks will have to be borne and because of the nature of the opportunities, a few more years may have to go by before the money begins to roll in.
NanoMarkets is a leading provider of market research and industry analysis of opportunities within advanced materials and emerging energy and electronics markets. Since the firm’s founding, NanoMarkets has published over one hundred comprehensive research reports on emerging technology markets. Topics covered have included OLED displays, lighting and materials, thin-film electronics, conductive inks, transparent conductors, renewable energy, printed electronics and other promising technologies. Our client roster is a who’s who of companies in specialty chemicals, materials, electronics applications and manufacturing.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by NanoMarkets.
For more information on this source, please visit NanoMarkets.