Growing Markets for Laser Materials and Components

Published - May 2005| Analyst - Calvin Swift| Code - SMC023D
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Report Highlights

  • The North American market for laser materials and components is estimated at $1.2 billion in 2004 and expected to increase at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 8.6%, reaching $1.8 billion in 2009.
  • The laser materials segment includes laser crystals, gases and dyes and optical substrates and coatings. Sales are expected to increase at an AAGR of 7%.
  • Diode laser components, excluding captive production, will lead growth and continue as the largest market segment.
  • Laser equipment includes power supplies and cooling systems and will rise to $387 million in 2009.
  • Expansion of the China and East Asia markets has accelerated softer pricing for products and declining profits.


Lasers have been used for more than four decades for a variety of applications. When first developed, they were referred to as “a solution seeking a problem.” Nothing could be further from the truth as they rapidly are emerging as devices for solving numerous engineering problems. Benefits of lasers to these challenges derive from their monochromatic, directional, and coherent characteristics.

While the market for laser systems has been analyzed extensively by a number of market research organizations, the materials and components that comprise, or are associated with lasers, have not been covered in any considerable detail. The market for laser materials and components is highly fragmented and competitive. Furthermore, the industry is undergoing significant change.

This BCC study provides the most complete accounting of laser material and component developments currently available in a multiclient format. It provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in laser materials and components. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kind of strategic response suppliers may adopt to be able to compete in this market.


The report contains:


  • Coverage of the present status of, and future prospects for laser materials and components in the U.S. and Canada
  • Analysis of diverse segments such as crystals, gases, dyes, optical components, power supplies and cooling systems, instrumentation and diode laser components
  • Analysis of technology developments, market conditions and opportunities with forecasts through 2009
  • Additional coverage of Western European, and Japanese markets as well as other global laser materials and components markets
  • Detailed examinations of end-use markets
  • Coverage of the social, political, regulatory and economic issues that so many regard as critical to the industry’s current state of change
  • Profiles and analyses of the competitive positions of the main players in the market.



The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on laser materials and components was conducted. These secondary sources included journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports, information from trade associations, and other publications. A patent search and analysis was also conducted.

In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews was conducted with marketing executives, engineers, unit managers, engineers, and other personnel at the laser materials and components companies. Other sources included academics, systems integrators, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials, and consulting companies. These are a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.


The author has over 20 years experience in competitive intelligence, industrial market research, planning and marketing at major corporations, market research consultancies and think tanks. He advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed developments in plastics, metals, and other materials. The author has employed scenario analysis to investigate and research the future of industry to identify the impact of globalization, consolidation, demographics, changing industry structure, and technological innovation. His particular interest lies in the interaction of strategy, economic and industry developments, and innovation. He holds a BA and a MA degree in economics, and has completed other studies in administration.

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