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Nanotechnology Report

Markets for Silver-Based Transparent Conductors - 2011

Category: Materials Published: Sep 2011 View Contents
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Transparent conductive coatings and films have attracted both end user interest and investment in the past two years and none more so than nanosilver-based solutions. There are as many as 15 firms now that have nanosilver-base transparent conducting materials on the market or who plan to get into this business in the not-too-distant future. While there are a variety of other new approaches to transparent conductive materials, no other material has attracted as much attention as nanosilver.

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With the extremely high conductivity possible using nanosilver, this interest is hardly surprising. And the use of nanosilver transparent conductors has also been boosted by the many uncertainties that now surround the established ITO market as well as the emergence of market sectors notably touch display sensors to which nanosilver transparent conductors seem especially well suited. Cambrios, the "granddaddy" of the nanosilver transparent conductor industry, is already shipping to commercial customers and appears to be headed towards profitability.

Given all of the above, nanosilver-based transparent conductors seem well on their way to being an important success story for the nanomaterials industry. However, we believe that to understand where the real opportunities are in the nanosilver-based transparent conductor space a deeper analysis is required. For example, although not often mentioned, there are differing approaches using nanosilver as a transparent conductor. Some firms use inks based on silver nanostructures, some print grids that use nanosilver but are similar in style to the thick-film silver grids used for solar panels, some combine nanosilver with other transparent conductors including the classic ITO.

This diversity raises the question of what kind of nanosilver solutions are best suited to current and future marketplace conditions and beyond that where nanosilver as a whole fits into the requirements for transparent conductors in both the display and solar panel industry. Should suppliers of transparent conductors offer a range of transparent conductors of which only some will be silver-based to take advantage of customer needs? And will nanosilver and nanotube transparent conductor solutions compete with each other or complement each other in some way?

This report answers all these questions and more. It also discusses which sectors of the display and solar panel industry are likely to be most open to nanosilver transparent conductors. In addition, this report appraises the strategies of all the major firms offering or planning to offer nanosilver-based transparent conductor solutions, providing a clear idea of who the winners and losers in this space will be. Finally, as with all our reports, this report provides a granular eight-year forecast, with breakouts by type of application and type of nanosilver solution used.

The report is part of our ongoing coverage of the transparent conductor market that covers ITO, alternative TCOs, conductive polymers and transparent conductive nanomaterials. We have been covering these materials and their applications for six years.

Nanosilver-based transparent conductors seem well on their way to being an important success story for the nanomaterials industry