Non-Linear Optical Materials/Application

Published - Nov 2000| Analyst - Ofra Kalisky| Code - SMC019B
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Report Highlights

  • The total market for non-linear optical (NLO) materials for the year 2000 is estimated to be $425.3 million. By the year 2005, BCC estimates that the total market of NLO materials will reach the level of $11,244 million. This level reflects in turn an impressive average annual growth of 92.4%, which is mainly a result of the projected demand for LiNbO3 for telecommunications.
  • Rotators and isolators class of NLO materials represent 8% of the market in 2000 at a market level of $34 million, and BCC predicts an annual growth rate of about 100% for 2000-2005, thus leading to a market volume of $1,100 million by that time.
  • The next most important NLO material is the KTP, which accounts for about 8% of the total NLO materials in 2000 at a market level of only $34.9 million. BCC estimates that by 2005 the market share of KTP will account for only 1% of the total NLO materials market, although the market volume will be at $110 million. KTP crystal is used solely for laser and electro-optic applications, and it is predicted that its average annual growth rate will be about 26%.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

This new (BCC) report provides a detailed market situation and analysis of economic parameters such as market volume, needs, and opportunities within the non-linear optical materials industry. The report provides an analysis of non-linear optical materials applications divided between current (1999) and future (2000-2005) applications in the following areas, including:

  • Industry
  • Medicine
  • Entertainment
  • Remote sensing and analysis
  • Basic research
  • Others, including instrumentation, image recording, inspection, military, optical data storage, and Laser Radar (LIDAR)
  • Telecommunications

Actually, the applications of non-linear optical materials can be divided into two main categories, which include all the applications listed above:

  • Electro-optics and lasers-it includes industry, medicine, entertainment, remote sensing, basic research, and "others"
  • Telecommunications

The main goals for this study are:

  • Investigate the current applications and potential of non-linear optical materials and devices based on various types of products.
  • Characterize and analyze current and future worldwide markets for the main non-linear materials and their applications.
  • Analyze the strength of products versus current and future opportunities.
  • Identify and analyze the major industrial players that are actively involved in the field of non-linear optical materials and the related devices.
  • Depict and estimate the future trend in terms of product development, needs, and economical parameters (market size, unit price, total sales, total units) according to product type, application, and geographical zone.
  • Analyze the drawbacks of available commercial non-linear optical products and devices.
  • Identify the current and future major developments regarding the type of non-linear optical materials, production technology, devices, and applications.
  • Analyze the technological development, patents, and major players in the field.

Non-linear optical materials utilize the non-linear dependence of the refraction index on the applied electric field to produce other frequencies. This results in either harmonic generation (frequency doubling, tripling, mixing etc.) or a frequency shifting (such as optical parametric oscillation). The development of the field was enhanced in parallel with the introduction of lasers, because the laser beams posses the energy density necessary to produce non-linear effects.

Among the family of non-linear optical materials also included are the electro-optical materials that are utilized for light modulation, Q-switching, isolators, and photorefractive materials. These materials are used to produce repetitive modulation and the generation of short pulses.

The clear advantage of non-linear optical materials to lasers and electro-optics became clear from the early days of the lasers, since it enabled to expand the limited spectral regime of the laser. This was done first by frequency doubling and then tripling of the 1.06 mm emission of Nd-lasers into the green. Other opportunities were found with the discovery of the optical parametric oscillation- a way to shift coherent radiation into higher wavelengths.

Today there is a large number of non-linear optical materials, for specific wavelengths, with various damage thresholds, and with various optical characteristics. The unique characteristics of each non-linear optical material and their various applications are mutually connected as will be observed throughout the report.

Non-linear optical materials are widely used in lasers and electro-optics, especially in solid-state lasers. They are widely used for various applications including pure science, medicine, diagnostics, and entertainment. However, their most dominant market is in broad band telecommunications as optical switches and modulators. It is expected, based on the trend observed in recent years, that in general, the use of various types of non-linear optical materials will increase and dominate many fields especially in telecommunications. In particular, it is expected that by improving the reliability of the materials, devices, electro-optical equipment and lasers, the market size of non-linear optical materials may increase significantly.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

This study, initiated by BCC, results from the fact that non-linear optical materials and non-linear optics are growing technological fields, with enormous impact on various aspects of science and technology. The subject encompasses various disciplines such as material science, optics, electronics, and quantum electronics. The subjects of telecommunications, electro-optics and lasers are technologically attractive and therefore, have enormous impact on high-tech industry; therefore, the market analysis and market projections of the high-tech field are also essential to assess the potential as well as new applications of these materials.

The information relevant to non-linear optical materials and non-linear optics is growing rapidly...Therefore, there is a need to accumulate systematically technical and marketing information in such a way that those interested in the subject will be able to extract the relevant information easily.

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM

This BCC report is intended to provide a broad but concise overview of the market potential and opportunities for non-linear optical materials. This will be done by analysis of non-linear optical products and devices, their current and potential applications, the major players in the field, their market strength, and potential products as well as applications. Also, a detailed patent analysis and financial survey of the main players will be conducted, and the major contributors will be emphasized.

The study is intended for those who are interested in:

  • Exploring further needs with regard to efficient, compact, reliable systems that utilize non-linear optical materials.
  • Understanding the market needs, especially of the fast-growing applications such as broadband telecommunications.
  • Understanding the market strength of non-linear optical products and devices.

In the last two decades, since the advent of novel laser technologies, there has been an explosion of information pertaining to the field. As a result, it was difficult to focus on the main efforts towards promising applications and potential markets. Currently, there is a growing need to identify the main players and the main products in the field, to identify existing and potential applications, directions, and to re-assess the worldwide market potential of non-linear optical materials and related devices or products.

This report provides a thorough analysis of the present and potential markets and applications of non-linear optical materials and their applications. The report will emphasize specifically the following issues:

  • Assessment of the main products, devices, applications, and companies that are active in the field
  • Analysis of the technological merits of the main players, and their financial record
  • Identification of present and future market parameters
  • Identification of present and future applications per product
  • Specification of needs and possible solutions
  • Assessment of the industry structure
  • Identification of the major participants and the dynamics of the
  • Analysis of the major technologies and products, and devices
  • Analysis of new technological developments
  • Forecasts of sales and growth
  • Estimate of sales per product, per application, and the growth rate
  • Analysis of the drawbacks of current products, and of the needs that seek solutions

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The analysis presented in this study is based on information derived from professional journals, technical literature, specific information and catalogs, and on-line sources. In addition, we conducted interviews with industry leaders and sources in the United States and Europe, as well as with several researchers in leading universities. We also analyzed available on-line and commercial sources with relevant financial, market information and added our own assessment to that information.

In addition, we consulted BCC reports that we considered relevant to the present topic. BCC has conducted several studies in the field of electro-optics and optical materials. We think that this report adds to the existing ones additional information—that is, market-oriented technological analysis and forecasts for the non-linear optical materials industry, including specific products and devices, and applications, as well as future trends and developments.

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