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Market for non-ITO TCOs to top $925M in 2016

Posted: 29 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:indium tin oxide? transparent conductive oxide? antinomy tin oxide?

NanoMarkets has forecasted that by 2016, the market for alternative transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) will approach $925 million.

The report titled "Emerging Markets for Non-ITO Transparent Conductive Oxides" has analyzed applications for alternatives to indium tin oxide (ITO) materials in LCD, e-paper, plasma and OLED displays; touch-screen sensors; thin-film and organic photovoltaic (PV), OLED lighting; low-e windows and smart windows; solar control film, antistatics and RFI/EMI shielding.

It has also indicated that fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) could be the next ITO. It is the dominant transparent conductor used for the highly successful CdTe versions of PVs. In addition, FTO has been extensively used in low-emittance (low-e) architectural windows that are used to control costs in commercial buildings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the market for low-e windows continues to grow extremely fast despite the recessionary conditions in the construction industry. Meanwhile, FTO has also been proposed for use in plasma displays, dye sensitive cell (DSC) solar and even as a replacement for some silver coatings.

TCOs are not just for electrode materials anymore either. NanoMarkets said that there are significant opportunities for these materials in thin-film transistor (TFT) channels. In fact, there are signs that they will be used for improved economics and performance in AMOLEDs that are now rapidly penetrating the mobile display industry and will soon be used in TVs. In addition, the arrival of p-type TCOs suggests a future of completely transparent electronics, PV and LEDs constructed from non-toxic materials.

NanoMarkets expects antinomy tin oxide (ATO) in its nanomaterial form to break into new markets. It is gaining ground on nano-ITO in heat shielding and antistatics and NanoMarkets believes that it will even be able to compete with conducting polymers. The patent literature also describes several gas sensors constructed of ATO thick films. Printable ATO inks have been developed that allow for the patterning of ATO thin films. Some of the high profile companies that have done work in the ATO space include 3M, British Gas, Corning, Harima Chemicals and Ulvac.

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