Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has released a new report that pinpoints the opportunities that exist in the silver inks and pastes market despite the disruption caused by the recent surge in silver prices.
With major users of these materials attempting to reduce silver consumption, NanoMarkets sees a new opportunity for specialist types of inks including nanosilver inks; products that have largely been a disappointment to date.
From the report:
Increasing silver prices and a decline in the number of plasma TVs sold will cause the total market for silver inks and pastes to stagnate at around $4.5 billion ($US) market over the next few years. However, there will still be opportunities for firms nimble enough to compete in this new market environment.
NanoMarkets expects strong growth for silver inks that contain smaller amounts of bulk silver because they either mix silver with a lower cost material or use specially engineered silver particles. NanoMarkets estimates that these specialist inks could generate revenues of $660 million by 2016.
It also says that firms that make nanosilver inks should message the potential cost reductions that the use of nanosilver inks can bring and believes that the sales of nanosilver inks could reach $300 million by 2016. The new report also suggests that suppliers should be focusing on applications such as miniaturized PCBs and certain types of capacitors where they can generate short term revenues.
NanoMarkets, believes the PV sector will be much more able to reduce its use of silver than thick film. Nonetheless, it expects that there will still be significant opportunities for silver inks and pastes in the PV sector, because there are certain areas where they are indispensible. These areas include the front electrodes of c-Si PV cells and the silver grids applied on the front of thin-film and organic PV modules. Annual sales of silver inks and pastes in the PV segment will be around $1.9 billion for the next few years.