Nanophotonics technologies play an increasingly important role in various sectors of the global economy. However, various technical, marketing and other hurdles need to be overcome before nanophotonics can realize their full potential.
Most analyses of the nanophotonics market focus on the development of new nanophotonics technologies and applications, rather than quantifying the potential market for these technologies. These analyses have made valuable contributions to raising investors’ awareness of and interest in nanophotonics.
However, these analyses by themselves do not provide sufficient information to guide corporate or individual investment decisions. Investors require additional information, such as the size of specific nanophotonics markets, prices, competition, and potential regulation, as provided in this report.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report is an update of an earlier BCC Research report, published in 2006. Its goal is to provide investors and others with the latest information on the commercial potential of various nanophotonics technologies and to complement the growing body of technical information. Specific objectives include identifying segments of the nanophotonics market with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term (2011-2016), projecting future demand in these segments and evaluating the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its potential in order to estimate the probability of successful commercialization.
This report is intended especially for entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and other readers who need to know where the nanophotonics market is headed in the next five years. Other readers who should find the report particularly valuable include nanotechnology marketing executives and government officials associated with the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative and other government programs to promote the development of the nanotechnology industry. The report’s findings and conclusions should also be of interest to the broader nanotechnology community.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The study addresses the global market for nanophotonics devices. Nanophotonic devices are defined as devices that interact with light at the nanoscale level. (“Nanoscale” is defined as having at least one dimension measuring less than 100 nanometers, or billionths of a meter.)
As defined above, nanophotonics are closely related to nano-optoelectronics. Many photonic devices, such as diodes, are also commonly classified as optoelectronic devices. This study does not exclude any application that meets the basic definition of a photonic device, even if it is also classifiable as an optoelectronic device.
Major types of nanoscale devices covered in this report include optical fiber, channel add/drop filters, optical switches and gates, light-emitting diodes, optical amplifiers, solar cells and holographic memory. The report format includes the following major elements:
- Executive summary
- Milestones in the development of nanophotonics
- Current and potential nanophotonics applications
- Applications and end-users with the greatest commercial potential through 2016
- Global nanophotonics market trends, 2010-2016
- Factors that will influence the long-term development of nanophotonics
- Market shares and industry structure
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Projecting the market for emerging technologies such as most nanophotonics devices, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task, which may help to explain why most analysts so far have focused on technology assessments. This report uses a multi-phase approach to identify the nanophotonics applications and devices with the greatest commercial potential and quantify the resulting market for these devices, as described below.
In the first phase of the analysis, we identified a “long list” of potential nanophotonics applications (including applications that are still under development) and mapped them against potential applications such as data storage, computing, sensing and others.
In the second phase, we eliminated those nanophotonics applications and devices that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial production in the next five years, determined by a literature review and statements from industry sources. The result of phase two was a “short list” of devices with the greatest near- to mid-term commercial potential.
The third phase focused on quantifying the potential broader market for each short-listed nanophotonics device and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Various methodologies and data sources were used to develop the projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis and estimates of future demand from industry sources. Dozens of industry sources were consulted in the preparation of this report.
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 also the author of numerous Business Communications Co. reports, including the predecessor to this report as well as several related market assessments, such as NAN031D Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment, NAN021D Nanocomposites, Nanoparticles, Nanoclays, and Nanotubes, and AVM067A Metamaterials: Technologies and Global Markets.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and 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 from its use.