Report Provides Up-to-Date Analysis of How ITO and Alternative Transparent Conductors are Succeeding in Marketplace

Published on February 11, 2009 at 6:39 PM

NanoMarkets, a leading industry analyst firm based here, today announced the addition of a new report to its schedule. The report, "Indium Tin Oxide and Alternative Transparent Conductor Markets" will be released in Mid-March of 2009.

Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is the most widely used transparent conductor in the display industry and has also found important uses in photovoltaics, lighting and various kinds of optical and conductive coatings. However, the choice of ITO is not usually made comfortably. ITO is a relatively expensive material with some limitations. Its popularity stems from the lack of alternative materials that possess the optimal combination of transparency and conductivity. As a result, there is an accelerating effort by both materials firms and research groups to deliver an alternative transparent conductor that can meet or beat the performance of ITO, but at lower costs and with more physical resilience.

There have been significant changes in end user markets since NanoMarkets' last ITO report published in 2008. The worries about Indium priced at $10,000 per kilo have dispersed as commodity prices have fallen. The display industry into which so much ITO is sold is suffering from the economic collapse and two of the remaining growth sectors within displays - flexible displays and touch screen displays - just happen to be areas where ITO use faces some of its biggest challenges. Meanwhile, OLED lighting and thin-film photovoltaic are two other emerging technologies that should be natural opportunities for ITO, but whose applications developers are actively looking for alternatives.

NanoMarkets' new report will provide an up-to-date analysis of how ITO and the alternative transparent conductors are succeeding in the marketplace. We survey the current role of other transparent conductive oxides, with special attention being given to zinc oxide a material that is rapidly rising to prominence for electronics applications. We also review the role that conductive polymers are and will have as an ITO replacement. And in this report we give much fuller account of the future role of nanomaterials and exotic composites as ITO substitutes. We believe that this is especially important because nano-engineered materials hold out the best prospects for a transparent conductor that can surpass ITO, not just in terms of its physical characteristics and price, but also in terms of transparency and conductivity.

In examining these newer materials we pay special attention in this report to current and expected performance, taking into consideration the high level of development work going on in this field. We also analyze the impact for ITO and its substitutes in the latest thin-film manufacturing techniques, giving special attention to low-thermal and solution processing approaches such as printing and sol-gel. This report also discusses strategic marketing issues and it includes both short and longer term forecasts of the various types of ITO materials and ITO alternatives. The report also profiles the latest activities of leading companies and labs working in this field.

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