Metamaterials are what you get when you change the internal structure of an object to make it different from the matter it was originally composed of. Any of the metamaterials exhibit properties in the electromagnetic or acoustic context that are different from regular objects made with the same material. This can be done using something known as a unit cell. The individual molecules of any material have a specific manner of interacting with waves. Unit cells can be engineered into the material around these molecules to change the way they interact with the same waves. This can be accomplished only if the unit cell is considerably smaller than the molecule, so that any wave that reaches the material considers the structure as a single continuous surface.
A Diverse Application Sector Rich in Benchmarks
The most common general application segments of the global metamaterials technologies market comprise acoustic devices, solar devices, imaging devices, and communication and radar devices. Of these, the global metamaterials technologies market finds huge scope of application in telecommunications, industrial sectors, defense, aviation, seismic protection, and microwave cloaking devices. Up until 2013, the communications and radar segment was the fastest growing one, even though it held a 60% majority of the market’s share.
As wireless mobile technologies improve in terms of research and investments, there will be more companies that can and will set out to build metamaterial antennas. Therefore, companies manufacturing the antennas will avail the benefit of this increasing demand in the next six years. Metamaterial antennas hold the unique properties of being extremely light in weight, compact, and can be used for an incredibly wide range of frequencies. They trump conventional antennas with their superior self-alignment and ultra-fast reconfiguration abilities.
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North America Rides the Metamaterials Technologies Wave
The global metamaterials technologies market has been dominated by North America till 2013, a year when the region held more than 55% of the market share. Three application sectors are set to skyrocket in this North American market: defense, consumer, and industrial. The region is also home to some of the biggest investing venture capitals in the world, most of whom want a piece of the metamaterials technologies pie. Another peg to add to the region’s ladder to global metamaterials technologies market dominion is the growing government aid pumped into it.
Other regions are experiencing growth in the global metamaterials technologies market as well. Europe, for instance, has played out considerable promotion and funding for the market. The region is host to METAMORPHOSE, a research project by the European Commission on metamaterials for radios and photonic super lattices. Emerging economies are also set to experience a growing demand for the global metamaterials technologies market, especially China and India. Other developed nations that drive the global metamaterials technologies market demand from the Asia Pacific region include Singapore and Japan.
A Fragmented Market
The global metamaterials technologies market is a highly fragmented one. The majority of the market is held by startup companies from North America. The list of key players in the market includes Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc., Applied EM Inc., Medical Wireless Sensing Ltd., Echodyne Corporation, and Metamagnetics Inc.
All the companies face relatively similar market restraint of being unable to cover high volume fabrication of metamaterials along with a seemingly temporary lack of awareness within its projected consumer base.
Despite being fragmented, the global metamaterials technologies market is expected to grow at a stunning 21.6% CAGR from 2014 to 2020. The market was valued at US$322.6 million in 2013, and if it grows as fast as experts are hoping, it will reach a net worth of a staggering US$1,268.4 million by the end of 2020.
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