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NanoMarkets believes that the market for OLED lighting will result in billions of dollars of revenues by the middle of this decade.  For now, however, the OLED light is a high-priced niche – or even novelty – item.  In this article – based on NanoMarkets’ latest research – we explain how we think that the OLED lighting market will get to be so big.

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While revenues from the thin-film/printable battery market are negligible right now, NanoMarkets’ analysis believes they could reach over a $1.0 billion by 2015.  However, this encouraging forecast begs the question of how battery firms can best tap into this opportunity.  With this in mind, this article describes the strategies that thin-film/printable battery firms are and should adopt to penetrate their addressable markets.

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How OPV Can Survive

Organic photovoltaics (OPV) is the cheapest way to make PV electricity, right?  The printing presses can run 24x7 to inundate us with cheap solar power that can be put into anything from window blinds to backpacks to cell phone cases, right?  These are supposed to be the things that will deliver OPV to become the highest-volume PV technology in the world. But this turns out to have been the wrong approach.  Maybe OPV can be cheaper than cadmium telluride PV (CdTe) or maybe not.  But for sure, with OPV’s low efficiency and limited lifetime it would need to be a whole lot cheaper than CdTe to compete in the same markets.  The supply-limited market of 2007-early 2008 is long gone and PV products need to compete on their merits and usefulness.

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The Return of the Indium Scare?

In our coverage of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) and thin-film PV including CIGS, we repeatedly see concerns about the cost and supply of indium. Now, these concerns mainly involve grumbling about indium's or ITO's price rather than its availability, especially since the economy collapsed in 2008, and even the cost has been less pressing of an issue since indium fell to the "bargain" price of $300 at that time. But indium prices are now pressing toward $600 a kilogram, and economic growth will certainly push the price up higher.

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Let's face it, printed electronics hasn't turned out the way we all hoped. Just a few years ago the market was talking itself into a frenzy--sharing fantasies of those majestic R2R fabs churning out organic RFID tags and display backplanes with the speed of the New York Times coming off the presses. Seems rather silly in retrospect.

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Over the past two decades, more accurate, convenient and earlier diagnoses have become a key strategy to reduce medical costs. This trend toward improved diagnostic technology will only grow in importance in the future as the first Baby Boomers turn seventy (in 2011) and as millions of people in less-developed nations begin to utilize more Western healthcare technology as their countries grow richer. In addition, healthcare experts have come to believe that diagnoses are most effectively delivered if they are made as close to the patient as possible. A quick read of a patient's condition at his or her bedside is preferred over a test sent to a lab that may take critical hours or days to interpret.

All this implies that the market for point-of-care and home diagnostic products will expand over the next few years. In our recently published report on printed and large-area sensors, NanoMarkets examined how low-cost printing technologies can help diagnostics respond to the trends outlined above. The path toward this goal of printed sensors has already been forged in the area of self-testing for diabetics, where printed test strips have helped bring accurate digital diagnostics to the tens of millions of diabetics throughout the world.

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