Precocious Photonic Crystals Offer Huge Upside Despite Underachieving

September 22, 2015

Wellesley, Mass., September 22, 2015 – Photonic crystal–driven sensing, which promises switching at speeds much higher than delivered by current technologies, is poised to realize its huge market potential. However, BCC Research reveals in its new report that for this technology to truly meet expectations, industry must forego its unwillingness and apprehension toward developing alternative fabrication methodologies.

The global market for components and modules using photonic crystals was valued at nearly $6 billion in 2014. This market is expected to reach $7.3 billion in 2015 and nearly $17.4 billion in 2020, reflecting a five-year (2015-2020) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9%.

The LEDs segment, largest segment, should reach $5 billion in 2020, corresponding to a five-year CAGR of 17.6%. Biosensors, the fastest growing segment, should gain $426 million over the forecast period to reach $522 million in the end year, reflecting a whopping five-year CAGR of 40.3%.

The photonic crystal component and module market comprises eight segments: displays, optical fibers, LEDs, discrete and integrated optical components, image sensors, solar and PV cells, lasers and supercontinuum sources, and biosensors.

Photonic crystals are one of the few realistic materials that promise seamless optical switching. The ability of photonic crystals to manipulate wavelengths based on the dielectric constant of the medium is its most potent feature. Photonic crystals also have properties that can be managed by altering the physical dimensions of the zones of different dielectric values.

Photonic crystals have been classic underachievers: full of promise, sound in theory, poor in implementation. They have struggled to find their place in various domains for a number of reasons, including the lack of reliable fabrication methodologies and the reluctance of industry to explore alternatives to well–oiled and well–established fabrication processes.

“The absence of a well–established roadmap for fabrication of photonic crystals remains the single, most–severe deterrent for their enhanced adoption. Photonic crystals are material independent. Ironically, this independence has slowed their adoption,” says BCC research analyst Kaustubha Parkhi. “Differences in materials lead to differences in fabrication processes. Diversity argues well for customization, but it limits short–term support, as a majority of end–use markets prefer well–proven processes to maintain operational efficiencies.”

Global Markets and Technologies for Photonic Crystals(PHO004B) examines the technology and commercial promise of photonic crystals across applications and domains. The report provides global market trends, with data from 2014, estimates for 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at

Global Markets and Technologies for Photonic Crystals( PHO004B )
Publish Date: Sep 2015    

Data and analysis extracted from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying BCC Research LLC as the source and publisher. For media inquiries, email or visit to request access to our library of market research.