Materials Characterization Instruments

Published - Jun 2004| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - IAS015A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for all types of materials characterization instrument was worth an estimated $20.3 billion in 2003. Sales are projected to rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 7.8% to reach $31.7 billion in 2009.
  • The largest market segment, chemical characterization instruments, also is projected to grow the fastest at an AAGR of 9.9% to $20.8 billion in 2009.
  • The market for morphological characterization instruments, estimated at $3.6 billion in 2003, is expected to reach $5.2 billion in 2009, at an AAGR of 5.9%.


Materials characterization is the name of a specific discipline concerned with describing the properties and features of a material that are significant with respect to a specific preparation or application of the material, and are sufficient for its replication. The field of is evolving rapidly, as new material requirements and testing technologies are developed. Evolution of the technology is essential to development of advanced materials.

Development of new materials characterization technologies and tools is particularly important to the expanding field of nanotechnology. In addition to their nanoscale dimensions, nanomaterials exhibit properties and behaviors different from their larger counterparts. The ability to characterize these is fundamental to understanding nanoscale substances, controlling them and designing applications that take maximum advantage of their performance.

Some definitions limit the scope of materials characterization to the composition, structure and defects of a material and exclude testing methods that yield information related to thermal, electrical and mechanical properties. This BCC report defines materials characterization more broadly to include the latter types of properties and the instruments used to test for them. The study identifies segments of the materials characterization market with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term, identifying, and where possible, quantifying the key demand drivers, projecting future demand for materials characterization instruments, and evaluating the technical challenges that must be overcome for the market to realize its full potential.


The report contains:

  • A technological overview of chemical, optical, physical and mechanical characterization techniques
  • Analysis of global markets by type of instrument, property tested for, end-user segment and geographical region
  • Market forecasts through 2009
  • A look at technology trends, limits and challenges as well as a detailed patent analysis
  • Analysis of the industry’s structure, including firm size and financial performance, ownership and market shares.


The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from industry sources, including manufacturers and users of microlithography equipment. 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 to 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 numerous other Communications Co. studies, including several studies of emerging technologies such as C-140N Trends in the Noninvasive and Minimally Invasive Medical Device Market; B-182 Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Market; GB-285 Emerging RF Technologies; GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation; and GB-265 Semiconductor Microlithography: New Technology Materials and Markets


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