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Graphene market to rake in $100M by 2018

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:graphene? IP? manufacturing?

Graphene's wide range of applications, including RFID, supercapacitors, sensors, logic and memory, will continue driving its market potential forward over the next five years, climbing up to $100 million by 2018.

Market research firm IDTechEx details in its latest report that graphene is reaching the peak of its hype cycle: there has been the launch of prototypes and the first-generation of products and the industry has seen a flurry of seed and early-stage funding. The IP patenting activity has also been on the rise too.

The focus is fast shifting from covering the manufacturing techniques towards protecting the formulation and the end uses of graphene. In the background, there has been an intense press full of praise and optimism.

Interestingly, IDTechEx also finds many emerging indications that this fledging industry is moving past the peak: several companies are already within the second or third round of financing; the second generation of products are being launched with more realistic assessment of the near- to medium-term market opportunity.

There are many different types of graphene, each offering a different set of properties. The differentiating parameters include the number of layers, purity, oxygen content, crystallinity and form (powder or sheet). Depending on the specifics of these parameters, the quality of the so-called graphene can vary, from that of the ideal material towards that of graphite oxide. Indeed, most companies today produce different types of graphene that can be placed somewhere on a quasi-empirical chart in which the limiting cases are graphite, graphite oxide, graphene oxide and graphene. The take home message here is that each graphene will have different material properties therefore different target markets.

Each graphene type is manufactured using a different technique and all techniques differ in terms of their cost structure, volume production capability and ultimately, potential target markets. The manufacturing techniques include micro-cleavage, chemical vapour deposition, liquid-phase exfoliation, oxidisation-reduction and plasma. We map the different manufacturing techniques on the basis of graphene quality, cost and scalability.

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