Published - Jan 2006| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - NAN041A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for nanopatterning tools, templates, resists and other consumables is estimated at $46.3 million in 2005 and is expected to rise to $292.7 million in 2010, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 44.6%.
  • Nanoimprint technologies account for the bulk of the nanopatterning market, or about 74%. Scanning probe lithography accounts for most of the remainder (26%).
  • By 2010, nanoimprint technologies as a group are expected to increase their market share to nearly 84%. Scanning probe lithography should account for almost 15%.
  • Semiconductor and other microelectronic fabrication are the largest applications at about 35% of the market that is set to increase to 46% in 2010. Nanosensors, microfluidics and nano-optics/optoelectronics also are important applications.


One definition of nanopatterning encompasses only those nanolithography techniques that that do not use light or radiation to expose a resist layer, but physically imprint or build up nanoscale patterns on a silicon chip or other substrate. More broadly, it can be defined as creation of nanoscale (i.e., measuring less than 100 nanometers or billionths of a meter) patterns or structures on a surface or substrate. Defined in this way, nanopatterning is more or less synonymous with nanolithography, a general term that is used to describe a wide range of processes that use light or other forms of radiation to imprint or build up a nanoscale pattern on a silicon chip or other surface.

Advances in photolithography have been the major factor driving recent advances in semiconductor technology, in terms of smaller feature sizes and improved performance. However, photolithographic methods have practical limitations, particularly in non-semiconductor applications, leading industry to devise new methods of fabrication at the nano scale.

This BCC technical market report uses the narrower definition in part to focus attention away from so-called photolithography techniques. The study provides a detailed description of nanopatterning technologies now entering the market or that are in advanced development, and assesses their commercial potential over the next five years.


The report contains:

  • Technology definitions
  • An overview of nanopatterning technologies (process equipment, supplies, consumables and software), their stage of development and conditions that must be satisfied to commercialize them
  • A detailed patent analysis
  • Applications, such as biosensors, medical diagnostics, MEMS, etc.
  • A discussion of potential users
  • Global nanopatterning market trends by technology, product and application segment with forecasts to 2010
  • Assessment of factors that will influence long-term development
  • Analysis of the industry’s structure (e.g., firm size and financial performance, ownership, market shares).


The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from industry sources, including manufacturers and users of nanopatterning 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 commercial assessment and market projections contained in this report.

The base-year for analysis and projection is 2004. With 2004 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2005 to 2010. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among primary contacts combined with BCC's 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 extensively in the section on Detailed Market Projections.

All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2004 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 also is the author of numerous other BCC studies relating to nanopatterning and nanotechnology in general, including:

  • GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation
  • GB-314 Nanotechnology for Photonics
  • GB-310 Nanosensors
  • GB-281 Nanocatalysts
  • GB-265 Semiconductor Microlithography: Materials and Markets
  • C-248 Global Markets for Lithographic Chemicals

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