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Markets for Carbon Nanotubes as Transparent Conductors

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as transparent conductors (TC) have been an on-again, off-again affair for almost a decade.  Originally proposed as a future competitor for ITO in the display industry, CNTs have lost mindshare as silver coatings and grids have proven easier to commercialize.

In the past couple of years, however, CNTs have been showing promise again as a low-cost TC developed in Asia and used for low-performance cell phones.  Meanwhile, some of the firms that continue to work on a high-quality CNT TC are claiming progress and believe that they will have a material that can challenge ITO for use in touch-screen sensors within a relatively short space of time.
But how far can CNTs really go this time?  Do low-cost CNTs really have a future or are they just a curiosity?  Will any firm manage to bring CNTs into the TC mainstream?  And will CNTs ever be able to best what silver coatings have to offer in the TC space?

In this report, NanoMarkets provides a thorough analysis of the prospects for CNTs in the TC space.  It shows how these materials currently compare with the main TC alternatives and how this is likely to change in the future.  It also examines how CNT-based materials fit into requirements for TCs in the display, solar panels, lighting, anti-statics and EMI shielding. 

Based on our analysis of current R&D directions in this space and market requirements, we also propose a roadmap for how CNTs will evolve in the TC marketplace in the next eight years.  This is accompanied by a detailed eight-year forecasts of CNT materials in the TC space, with breakouts by application and performance type.  These forecasts are presented in square meters of coating and by value of the market.  Finally, the report assesse the changing CNT TC supply chain, covering both the primary suppliers of the TC material and CNT firms who have targeted the TC space.  
 

Executive Summary    
E.1 Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductors:  Three Market Strategies    
E.1.1 Strategy #1:  No Change in Direction    
E.1.2 Strategy #2:  Adding Value    
E.1.3 Strategy #3:  Low-Performance    
E.1.4 Strategy #4:  Exit
E.2 Eight-Year Forecasts of CNT TCs by Applications
E.3 Eight-Year Forecasts of Opportunities for CNT TCs by Performance Category    

Chapter One: Introduction    
1.1 Background to this Report    
1.1.1 Where CNT TCs Stand Today:  A Broken Business Model    
1.1.2 Disappointment and Revival: Changed Business Models    
1.1.3 Three Questions About the Future of CNT TC Markets    
1.1.4 China Looming
1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report    
1.3 Methodology of this Report    
1.4 Plan of this Report    

Chapter Two: Evolution of CNT Transparent Conductors    
2.1 High-Performance CNT TCs:  Where Are We Now?    
2.1.1 Recent Changes in the Supply Chain Evolution for CNT TCs    
2.2 The Birth of Low-Performance CNT TCs:  Do They Have Potential?    
2.3 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Carbon Nanotubes for Transparent Conductors    
2.3.1 Limiting the Carbon Nanotube: Making Them "Just Conductors"    
2.3.2 Derivatization of Carbon Nanotubes    
2.4 How Well Do CNT TCs Stack Up Against Other TCs    
2.4.1 Silver Nanomaterials    
2.4.2 Metal Meshes    
2.4.3 Other Alternative TCs    
2.4.4 Graphene:  Does it Stand a Chance in the Transparent Conductor Market?    
2.4.5 The Persistence of ITO    
2.5 Key Points Made in this Chapter    

Chapter Three: Potential Markets and Roadmap for Carbon Nanotube TCs    
3.1 Future Prospects for CNTs in the Touch Sensor Business    
3.1.1 Reasons for Replacing ITO in Pro-Cap Displays—Alternative Solutions Including CNTs    
3.1.2 The Analog-Resistive Touch Sensors as a Market for Transparent Conductors including CNT TCs    
3.1.3 Eight-Year Forecasts of CNT TCs in the Touch-Screen Sensor Industry    
3.2 Will CNTs Ever Replace ITO in Conventional Displays:  LCDs and OLEDs?    
3.2.1 CNTs in the OLED Market    
3.2.2 The Quest to Get Rid of ITO in OLEDs    
3.2.3 Conventional Flat-Panel Displays: Stuck On ITO Forever?    
3.2.4 Eight-Year Forecasts of CNT Transparent Conductors in the Flat-Panel Display and OLED Display Industries    
3.3 CNTs and E-paper    
3.3.1 Eight-Year Forecasts of CNT Transparent Conductors in the E-Paper Display and Lighting Market    
3.4 Flexible Electronics Mythologies and Realities: Their Impact on the Transparent Conductor Market    
3.5 CNTs, TCs and OLED Lighting:  Eight-Year Forecasts    
3.6 CNTs and Solar Panels
3.6.1 Transparent Conductors in CIGS PV Market:  Room for CNTs?    
3.6.2 Organic PV, Dye Sensitized Cells and CNTs    
3.6.3 Eight-Year Forecast for CNT TCs in Solar Panels
3.7 CNT Coatings for Anti-Statics, EMI Shielding and IR/UV Protection:  Eight-Year Forecasts    
3.7.1 Antistatic Applications for CNT Transparent Conductors    
3.7.2 Transparent Conductors in EMI/RFI Shielding    
3.7.3 IR and UV Protection Opportunities for Transparent Conductors    
3.8 Other Potential Applications for CNT TCs    
3.9 Key Points Made in this Chapter    

Chapter Four: Carbon Nanotubes:  Suppliers and Supply Structure    
4.1 Canatu (Finland)    
4.1.1 Claimed Technical Superiority of NanoBuds    
4.1.2 Product/Market Strategy:  Expanded Horizons for CNT TCs    
4.1.3 Manufacturing Strategy    
4.2 C3Nano (United States)    
4.3 CNTouch/Foxconn (Taiwan/China)
4.4 Linde (Germany)    
4.5 Sang Bo (Korea)    
4.6 SWeNT (United States)    
4.7 Top Nanosys (Korea)    
4.8 Toray (Japan)    
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report    
About the Author    

List of Exhibits

Exhibit E-1: Product/Market Strategies for CNT Transparent Conductors    
Exhibit E-2: Summary of Forecast of Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductors by Application ($ Millions, except for final line)    
Exhibit E-3: Summary of Forecast of Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductors by Performance Class ($ Millions)
Exhibit 2-1: NanoMarkets' Perspective and Expectations of Penetration of Selected Transparent Conductor Materials
Exhibit 3-1: Why the Touch Sensor Business is Attractive for Transparent Conductor Makers    
Exhibit 3-2: Forecast of CNT TCs for Touch-Screen Display Sensors    
Exhibit 3-3: Long-Term Issues that ITO Faces in the OLED Market    
Exhibit 3-4: Forecast of CNT TCs for Flat-Panel Displays (LCD and PDP)    
Exhibit 3-5: Forecast of CNT TCs  in OLED Displays (Excludes OLED Lighting)    
Exhibit 3-6: Forecast of CNT TCs in E-Paper Displays    
Exhibit 3-7: Flexibility of Transparent Conductive Material Types    
Exhibit 3-8: Forecast of Transparent CNT TCs in OLED Lighting    
Exhibit 3-9: Forecast of Transparent CNT TCs  in Thin-Film Photovoltaics    
Exhibit 3-10: Forecast of Transparent Conductive Materials Requirements in OPV/DSC    
Exhibit 3-11: Forecast of CNT Transparent Conductive Materials in Antistatic Coatings    
Exhibit 3-12: Forecast of Transparent Conductive CNT Materials in Electromagnetic Shielding    

Markets for Carbon Nanotubes as Transparent Conductors

Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductor Market to Surpass $500 million in 2022

Glen Allen, Virginia:  According to a new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets, conductive coatings (TCs) based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) will generate almost $300 million in revenues by 2020, rising to more than $0.5 billion by 2022.  However, while suppliers of CNT TCs are currently focusing on the opportunities in touch panels, a bigger opportunity for these materials will be found in thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) and anti-static coatings. 
 
Additional information about the report titled, “Markets for Carbon Nanotubes as Transparent Conductors” can be found at:  http://ntechresearch.com/market_reports/markets-for-carbon-nanotubes-as-transparent-conductors
 
About the Report
 
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the prospects for CNTs in the transparent conductor market.  It shows how these materials currently compare with the main TC alternatives and how this is likely to change in the future.  It also examines how CNT-based materials fit into requirements for TCs in the LCD, OLED display and lighting, e-paper, TFPV, OPV/DSC anti-statics and EMI shielding sectors.
 
In addition, this report includes a detailed eight-year forecasts of CNT-based materials in the TC space, with breakouts by application and performance type.  These forecasts are presented both in square meters of coating and by market value.  Finally, the report assesses the changing CNT TC supply chain, profiling both the primary suppliers of the TC material and CNT firms who have targeted the TC space.
 
Some of the companies discussed in this report include: Brewer Science, CNTouch, Corning, Dow, Foxconn, Huawei, Intel, iTouchWorks, LG, Linde, Mitsui, Nagase America, Samsung, Sang Bo, Sony, TECO, Top Nanosys, Toray, Unidym and Vitsumo. 
 
From the report
 
NanoMarkets expects CNT TCs to continue their penetration of the touch-screen sensor market.  CNT TCs have considerably lower patterning and deposition costs than ITO, so even if using CNT TCs lead to no substantial reduction in materials costs, touch screen firms may still switch to CNT TCs from ITO.  The business case for CNTs has been enhanced further by the shift to ProCap touch technology since ProCap sensors require a high degree of patterning.  Meanwhile, the new generation of low-performance CNT TCs may find their way into analog resistive touch panels, because of their high resiliency.  Currently, a major drawback of analog-resistive touch screens that currently use ITO is that they tend to wear out after a certain number of touches. 
 
Despite today’s focus of CNT TC makers on the touch market, NanoMarkets believes this market is limited and that gesture recognition will gradually take the place of touch.  The report claims that as the touch market becomes saturated, the best prospects for CNT TC sales will be for TFPV electrodes and for anti-statics. With regard to the former, CIGS makers are seen as being the most receptive to using CNT TCs.  The report also speculates that CNT TCs may find a role in opaque touch surfaces in automobiles and appliances.
 
Finally, NanoMarkets believes that China is becoming the dominant consumer of TCs as the solar, OLED, touch-screen sensors and display industries increasingly shift to Mainland China.  Given the recent success of several Chinese makers of non-ITO TCs, it is also quite likely that China will play a key role in the alternative TC business – including the supply of CNT TCs.
 
About NanoMarkets:
 
NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging markets in energy, electronics and other area created by developments in advanced materials. The firm is a recognized leader in industry analysis and forecasts of the transparent conductor market. Visit http://www.nanomarkets.net for a full listing of NanoMarkets' reports and other services.
 
Contact:
 
Robert Nolan
NanoMarkets
(804) 938-0030

posted Jan 13, 2015

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