Nanofilms: Markets and Technologies

Published - Aug 2004| Analyst - Robert Moran| Code - NAN032A
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Report Highlights

  • The overall worldwide value of thin films shipped for eight major industries reached $1.1 billion in 2003 and is projected to just exceed $2 billion by 2008, rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 12.6%.
  • Of this total, $222 million, or currently 20.2%, is classified as nanofilm, and is expected to grow at an AAGR of 17.8% to reach $505 million by 2008.
  • The value of emerging nanofilms is projected to be $196 million by 2006 and grow at an AAGR of 22% to 2008 to reach $292 million.
  • Established and emerging nanofilms will represent 39% of total thin film materials by 2008.


Surface modification has become a major process in the current technological world. Over the past three decades, surfaces and their coatings have improved the performance of, or protected new and existing products. Techniques usually include surface treatments, where the composition of mechanical properties are altered, or the deposition of thin films or coatings, where a different material is deposited to create a new surface.

The deposition of thin films has gained an extremely important position in many industries. In previous reports, BCC examined the scope of this technology, the methods used, and the overall impact on specific products in selected industries. This important and timely report focuses on ultrathin films, i.e., materials measured in nanometers. These ultrathin films, or nanofilms, are the next level in deposition and coating technology.

This study determines the key materials being used and their growth potential. The document further examines production and deposition techniques used on various substrates, details the properties imparted and discusses the potential for new nanomaterials.

Films of this type already have begun to add value to the coatings industry and a host of current and future products. In some cases, ultrathin coatings are formed to have a nanograined structure (directly from a dispersion of nanoparticles, or by another process specially controlled to yield a nanostructure when deposited), or they are current coatings that are sufficiently thin to meet the definition of a nanofilm. Regardless of their path to formation, they hold promise for improved performance in the future.


The report contains:

  • Analyses of the major thin film materials and nanomaterials used by eight major industries
  • Examination of the materials technologies, including the latest trends and advantages of ultrathin films and processing technology
  • Analyses of the current status of, and future demand for existing nanofilms
  • Estimates of the value of emerging nanofilms for each industry
  • Forecasts for growth through 2008
  • Examination of government and industry support for nanofilms and nanotechnology in general.


BCC presents an analysis of the value of materials in 2003 and 2008 for each major industry. Our estimated value is what manufacturers have paid in undepreciated dollars. Based on our surveys, we analyze the potential value of future consumption of thin films, existing nanofilms and emerging nanofilms, and then forecast the value of these materials for 2008. We also indicate the approximate year that projected new nanofilms will be in the market and their value.


BCC surveyed approximately 100 companies to obtain data for this study. Included were manufacturers of nanomaterials, nanofilms, thin films, deposition equipment, semiconductors, microelectronic components, flat panel displays, photovoltaic cells and modules, data storage systems, tape and optical disks, optical instruments and other products, medical devices and diagnostic equipment. We also spoke with equipment users in a variety of industries and we compiled data from current financial/trade information and government sources.


After a successful career at IBM, Robert Moran has written extensively as a researcher and editor at BCC. Mr. Moran edits Display Development News and is the author of numerous BCC market research documents. The topics of his reports range from various deposition technologies to electronic displays, electronic publishing, solar energy and fiber optics. Mr. Moran has been with BCC for over 20 years and holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

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