In October 2010, two University of Manchester (U.K.) scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their research on graphene. Graphene is a sheet of carbon one atom thick yet its strength, flexibility and electrical conductivity has opened up new horizons for high-energy particle physics research and electronic, optical and energy applications.
Potential electronics applications of graphene include ultrasmall transistors, superdense data storage, touchscreens and wearable electronics. In the energy field, potential applications include ultracapacitors to store and transmit electrical power as well as highly efficient solar cells.
Some researchers argue that the greatest potential for graphene lies in its ability to conduct light as well as electricity. They believe that graphene can improve the efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and aid in the production of next-generation devices like flexible touchscreens, photodetectors and ultrafast lasers.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report is an updated version of an earlier BCC Research report published in 2012. Since that time, the graphene field has continued to develop rapidly, and BCC believes that an update that covers the most recent advances in graphene technologies and applications will be useful to readers.
Graphene offers seemingly endless possibilities. However, intuition alone tells us that not all of these possibilities are likely to become reality. The goal of this report is to survey emerging graphene technologies and applications, identify those that are most likely to achieve significant commercial sales in the next five years to ten years and develop quantitative estimates of potential sales.
The report’s specific objectives support this broad goal. These objectives include identifying the graphene technologies and applications with the greatest commercial potential in the time frame of 2013 to 2023, identifying market drivers and evaluating obstacles to their successful commercialization, and projecting future sales.
This report is intended especially for marketing executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and other readers with a need to know where the emerging graphene market is headed over the next five years to ten years. Although the report is organized around specific technologies, it is largely nontechnical in nature and coverage. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of what works the market is likely to purchase and at what price.
The report has not been written specifically for scientists and technologists. However, the report’s findings concerning the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, should interest this audience as well.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The report addresses emerging global markets for graphene, including the applications listed below:
- Computing/data processing.
- Data storage.
- Thermal management.
- Solar cells.
- Sensing and imaging.
- Structural materials.
- Miscellaneous other applications.
The study format includes and/or addresses the following major elements:
- Executive summary.
- General properties of graphene.
- Historical milestones in the development of graphene.
- Emerging and developmental graphene technologies and applications that have the greatest commercial potential through 2023.
- Detailed market estimates and projections for each application and material during the period from 2013 to 2018.
- General assessment of expected market trends in the longer term (2018 to 2023).
- Companies that are producing or developing commercial graphene applications.
- Patent analysis.
INFORMATION SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
Projecting the market for emerging technologies, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. Nowhere is this truer than in the graphene field, which may help to explain why many analysts focus on supply-side technology assessments.
However, BCC’s objective in this report is to provide not just a technology assessment but also an initial assessment of the potential commercial market for graphene. To accomplish this objective, BCC used a multiphase approach to identify the graphene applications with the greatest commercial potential and to quantify the related markets.
In the first phase of the analysis, BCC identified a long list of potential graphene applications, including those that are still under development. In the second phase, BCC eliminated those applications that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial use in the next five years to ten years, based on a literature review and interviews with industry sources. The result of the second phase was a short list of graphene applications with the greatest commercial potential over the time period covered by this report.
The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each application on the resulting list and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Phase three actually had two components:
- The development of near-to-mid-term (2013 to 2018) projections.
- The development of longer-term (2018 to 2023) projections.
The development of such long-term projections is a departure from the usual BCC report format, necessitated by the long time frame for commercialization of many of the technologies analyzed in this report. Obviously the projections for the years beyond 2018 are more tentative than the projections for 2013 to 2018.
The specific assumptions and approaches that BCC used to develop the projections (both near/mid-term and long-term) for each graphene application are documented in detail under the various applications addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test how changing the underlying assumptions would impact the final numbers.
One of the approaches used by BCC deserves special mention here. Particularly in the case of graphene applications that are still under development, BCC used the sales performance of non-graphene applications that share some of the same functions or other characteristics of the graphene application as a benchmark for assessing the latter’s sales potential.
Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. He is the author of a number of other BCC Research market opportunity reports on advanced materials technologies, including the previous edition of this report. He is also the author of AVM067B – Metamaterials: Technologies and Global Markets; AVM066C – Superconductors: Technologies and Global Markets; AVM038E – Advanced Structural Carbon Products: Fibers, Foams & Composites; NAN017F – Nanostructured Materials: Electronic/Magnetic/Optoelectronic; AVM050B – Smart and Interactive Textiles; AVM015F – High-Performance Ceramic Coatings: Markets and Technologies; AVM025G – Diamond, Diamond-Like and CBN Films and Coating Products; NAN015F – Advanced Ceramics and Nanoceramic Powders; and NAN036B – Nanotechnology for Photonics: Global Markets.
BCC ONLINE SERVICES
BCC offers an online information retrieval service. BCC’s home page, located at www.bccresearch.com, enables readers to:
- Examine BCC’s complete catalog of Market Research Reports and place direct orders.
- Read announcements of recently published reports.
- Register for BCC’s well-known conferences.
- Request additional information on any BCC product.
- Take advantage of special offers.
The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and is of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.