With every passing day, human dependence on electronic devices such as touch UI interface devices and tablet PCs is rising significantly. This factor has positively impacted the transparency conductive film market which has witnessed a remarkable increase in R&D by key market players over the past decade. This is quite evident in the soaring sales and rising requirement for transparent conductive films grapheme, transparent conductive films carbon nanotube, transparent conductive polymer films, and flexible transparent conductive films. Low-cost transparent conductive films are being developed, owing to an increase in application across several end-user industries. Researchers at Oxford University have developed a low-cost film made out of materials found abundantly on Earth, thus decreasing the overall production costs. This transparent conductive film was manufactured in order to meet the growing demand for light-emitting diode (LED) and liquid crystal display (LCD). Extensive innovation in the smartphone market is leading to increased demand for flexible screens that require high optoelectronic performance, resulting in bulk production by key companies. Resultantly, they are relying on transparent conductive films that can provide a sharp display with high optical quality while maintaining ductility of the screen. For instance, in May 2019, Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd. qualified C3Nano’s ActiveGrid ink for the production of its transparent conductive transfer film product. This technology has been developed to simplify the patterning process while production and enable easy manufacturing of silver nanowire-based transparent conductive films.
The transparent conductive films market can be segmented on the basis of technology, application, and entropy. By technology, the market can be divided into ITO on PET, ITO on glass, non-ITO oxides, silver nanowires, graphene, carbon nanotube, metal mesh, micro-fine wire, and PEDOT. Based on application, the market can be segmented into smartphones, tablet and tablet PCs, notebooks, all-in-one PCs, TV displays, OLED lighting, OPV, and DSSCs. And by entropy, the market is segmented into new product launches, partnerships, joint ventures, and collaborations. TV displays are the most prominent application segment of the market, owing to the public’s consistent interest in entertainment. Watching television continues to be a favorite pastime for people, and this has revolutionized the display market and provided it with the necessary impetus to thrive and supplement growth in markets for display components such as transparent conductive films. The application segment of TV displays, particularly LCDs, will experience above-average growth during the forecast period of 2019-2025, growing at a CAGR of 12.2%.
The APAC region has emerged as the geographical leader in the transparent conductive films market, holding a share of 38.8% in 2018. This share can be attributed to several factors, the major ones being rise of renewable energy in developing nations and a well-established smartphone manufacturing industry in China. Transparent conductive films are extensively used in photovoltaic cells, and this has helped their market in attaining expansive growth in the APAC region. Renewable energy plants and parks are flourishing in China and India, with a giant panda-shaped solar park spread over 248 acres being now recognized as China’s most important renewable energy development. Moreover, China has established itself as a global hub for smartphone manufacturing with eminent names such as Apple importing iPhone components manufactured entirely in the country.
Transparent Conductive Films Market: Growth Drivers
- Rapidly Rising Renewable Resources of Energy
With the incessant consumption of non-renewable resources of energy, the world is current plagued with a noticeably alarming depletion of fossil fuels that could not only hinder energy production, but negatively impact smooth functioning of industries and manufacturing units. An increasing number of countries are now moving towards a complete transition to producing electricity from renewable resources. The primary source of renewable energy is solar power that is now being harnessed by both emerging and developed nations. Countries lying in the APAC region including India and China have boosted solar energy production by investing a sizable portion of their budgets into construction of solar parks. In 2018, the Indian government announced an official target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the end of 2022, of which 100 GW will be generated from solar energy parks. These plants and parks would essentially be incomplete without photovoltaic cells that make abundant use of transparent conductive films. Conductive oxides, that are transparent, are used in thin film photovoltaic cells which generate electricity more efficiently as compared to their silicon counterparts. Such increasing usage of conductive oxides in solar cells has propelled growth for the transparent conductive films market, and this is expected to continue in the forecast period.
Increasing Demand for Smartphones
Smartphones have almost become a necessary component of human life with the dependence on these devices rising consistently. With electronics and information technology companies working in synchronization, innovation in smartphones is growing at an extraordinary rate. Humans have become increasingly reliant on digital communication with several functions essential to a social life now being possible through the click of a button on smartphones. With the advent of cloud databases, smartphones have become increasingly useful to humans as they can store abundant data without any hassles. In Q4 2018, Apple reported iPhone sales of 46.9 million, which highlights the growing number of smartphone sales occurring globally. Smartphone displays are being made more flexible by manufacturers in a bid to ensure better image quality and ease of touchscreen access. These displays would be redundant without transparent conductive films that form the basis of flexible displays and provide excellent optical quality. Increasing sales of smartphones have, therefore, provided the necessary impetus for the market to grow and prosper during the forecast period.
Major Players in the Market
In the electronics industry, transparent conductive films market companies have had an important role to play with testing various metallic prototypes to instigate technological inventions in the display market.These conductive films are used to manufacture semiconductors which are increasingly being utilized in several types of displays including LCD, OLED lighting, and others. The key players of the transparent conductive films market have invested resources in increasing the overall sales and usefulness of their products. These companies include Teijin Ltd., Toyobo Co. Ltd, Nitto Denko Corporation, TDK Corporation, Canatu Oy, Cambrios Technologies Corporation, C3Nano, Gunzer, Dontech Inc., and Blue Nano. Japan-based Teijin Limited, which specializes in manufacturing high-performance fibers has invented Eleclear, a transparent conductive film especially meant for capacitive touch panels. They not only provide an extremely clear display but have anti-glare properties that accentuate picture quality.