Global Markets for Lithographic Chemicals

Published - Jan 2005| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - CHM045A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for lithographic chemicals used to produce microelectronic devices is worth about $4.3 billion in 2004 and is projected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9.1% to reach $6.7 billion in 2009.
  • The fastest-growing segments of the market are etchants, with an AAGR of 11.9% and deposition precursors (11.0%). Resists are projected to have the lowest growth rate (7.6%).
  • In 2003, resists accounted for nearly 28% of the market. Resist developers, strippers and removers were the second-largest segment with more than 26%, followed by deposition precursors at 17%.
  • The semiconductor industry accounted for more than 77% of the market in 2003. Due to growth of the nonsemiconductor sector, this percentage will decline to 63% by 2009.


Microlithography, i.e., a group of technologies used to create micron- or submicron- scale structures on silicon wafers and other materials, is a key enabling technology of the electronics industry, and has an important role to play in the life sciences and other sectors. Microlithography chemicals include the full range of chemicals used to selectively expose and imprint a micron- or submicron-dimension pattern on the sensitized surface of an object such as a semiconductor wafer.

The term lithography originally was coined to describe printing technology. As used here, it refers to a process that uses visible light or other form of radiation to selectively expose and imprint a micron- or submicron-dimension pattern on the sensitized surface of an object. The pattern in the resist layer then can be transferred to the underlying substrate by etch or buildup processes. All of these effectively are chemical processes.

This BCC analysis provides the reader with an understanding of the microlithographic chemical market on a global scale. It identifies segments of the microlithography market with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term, identifies and where possible, quantifies the key demand drivers, projects future demand for microlithography equipment and supplies and evaluates the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its potential.

The study covers the entire range of chemicals used in transferring an image to a lithographic substrate, including: resists, dopants, etchants, deposition precursors, developers, strippers and removers and miscellaneous other chemicals.


The report contains:

  • Descriptions and classifications of lithographic chemicals
  • Analysis of technology trends
  • A detailed patent analysis
  • Discussion of major applications (e.g., semiconductor, LCD display fabrication)
  • Analysis of global trends in the market by type of chemical, application and geographic region through 2009
  • Discussion of factors that will influence the long-term development of the market
  • Discussion of the industry’s structure.


The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from industry sources, including manufacturers and users of lithographic chemicals. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and on-line databases to produce the projections contained in this report.

The base-year for analysis and projection is 2003. With 2003 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2004 through 2009. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective. The analytical methodologies used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on Detailed Market Projections.

All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2003 constant dollars.


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 Communications Co.'s recent report GB-265 Semiconductor Lithography: Material sand Markets, as well as a number of other BCC reports on advanced technologies such as B-182 Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Market; GB-285 Emerging RF Technologies, GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation; and Smart and Interactive Textiles.

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