NanoMarkets, a leading industry analyst based here, today announced the release of its newest report, "Tin Markets for Photovoltaics," the latest from the firm's "Metals in PV" series examining opportunities for various metals in the photovoltaics industry. This report contains an analysis and market projections of tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) and tin oxide (in some cases doped with fluorine or antimony), and other related materials. Further details about the report and series are available at www.nanomarkets.net.
According to NanoMarkets' new report, the PV industry's tin consumption will grow ten-fold over the next eight years, reaching over 91 metric tons (MT) in 2016. Driving this growth is the shift away from ITO as the transparent conductor (which functions as front electrodes and sometimes back electrodes as well) in favor of tin oxide-a net gain for tin consumption because tin oxide uses so much more tin-as well as the rapidly growing demand for CdTe PV cells, which relies on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO). From virtually nothing in 2000, tin oxide now accounts for nearly half of the overall TFPV market for transparent electrodes. This growth is a result of the adoption by First Solar, the dominant producer of CdTe PV cells, of tin oxide for its front electrodes and its subsequent rapid growth, as well as a high level of substitution of tin oxide for ITO in the a-Si PV segment.
NanoMarkets also expects a shift to different methods of depositing transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films. This will impact the type of tin materials used. The relative consumption of sputtering targets will decrease in favor of nanoparticles for ITO inks, or tin precursor compounds for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of tin oxide. NanoMarkets expects printing and CVD to represent 24 percent, or 21.9 m.t., of the total tin consumption for PV in 2016.