Molecular, Nanoscale and Atomic Imaging

Published - Aug 2007| Analyst - Amy Brock| Code - NAN046A
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for molecular, nanoscale, and atomic imaging is valued at $1.8 billion in 2007 and is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5%, reaching $4.2 billion in 2012.
  • Imaging hardware systems represent 69.7% of the total molecular, nanoscale, and atomic imaging market with a value of $1.3 billion in 2007. This segment is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 18% to exceed $2.8 billion in 2012.
  • Within the imaging systems market, the scanning electron microscopes segment is expected to be worth $601.3 million by 2012.


Imaging modalities with resolution smaller than the wavelength of visible light have been available for many decades. However, recent years have seen enormous growth in the variety of systems and their availability and accessibility. New variations on older modalities have extended the range of types of applications for which these systems are suited. For example, the first atomic force microscope was invented in 1986 as a materials research tool. Today, with the addition of different scanning modes, it has become useful in the imaging of biological samples and the determination of their physical properties. Tissue and even single cells have been studied by AFM.

Improvements in the imaging modalities have also been made possible by the development of a new generation of probe reagents. Nanoparticle probes and quantum dots have opened up new terrain in multi-spectral imaging. They have expanded the utility of existing imaging systems by providing highly specific and noninvasive tags.


This report contains:


  • Descriptions of imaging equipment and technologies for examining materials, electronics, and biological samples
  • The current U.S. market status of molecular, nanoscale and atomic imaging, by segment, through 2012
  • Technological issues, including novel molecular, nanometer and atomic imaging capabilities
  • An examination of research activities and areas of interest related to imaging applications.



This report has been assembled following an in-depth analysis of primary and secondary data. Primary research was conducted via telephone interviews with industry professionals, research scientists, technicians and laboratory heads to discover the most recent developments in their fields of interest. Secondary data was collected via a comprehensive search of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, conference proceedings, industry trade media, company websites, annual reports and industry press releases.

The market assessments provided have been assembled based on publicly available information from January 2002 up to and including 2007-05-15. The base year for this report is 2007 and forecast data are provided through 2012. In many cases, figures for 2006 were not yet released and in these cases figures were extrapolated from 2006 statistics, first quarter projections for 2007, and historical trends between 2002 and 2007. Market figures are based on current dollars and inflation is not computed into the projection figures.


Amy Brock, Ph.D. has over 12 years of research experience at the interface of the biological sciences, bioengineering, and biophysics. Trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, she holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical science. She is the author of several other reports for BCC Research including Pharmacogenomics: New Technologies in the Development of Personalized Therapies, Kinase Inhibitors, Genetic Diseases and Treatment, Medical Imaging: Reagents and Analysis Tools, and Biomaterials for the Human Body.


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