Global graphene market size is likely to be worth more than USD 400 million by 2023. Production capacity is expected to exceed over 9 kilo tons by 2017.
Electronics & optoelectronics was the largest application and accounted for more than 25% of the total graphene market size in 2015. Graphene nanocomposites market size accounted for over 20% of the total volume and is likely to witness significant gains over the forecast period. Other applications include energy (oil & gas), aerospace, automotive, paints & coatings, academic research and sensors.
North America graphene market share was the largest regional segment and is likely to continue dominance over the forecast period at significant growth rates. Factors such as growth in manufacturing industries, nanocomposites demand & coating materials, and increasing number of research tie-ups between companies & institutes are likely to drive regional demand. Asia Pacific, driven by China and India, graphene market share is likely to grow at the highest rate over the forecast period.
Increasing application scope in electronic industry is likely to drive demand. Properties such as flexibility, wide range optical transmittance, electrical & thermal conductivity and excellent mechanical strength are expected to fuel growth in existing and potential electronics applications. These applications include printed & flexible circuitry, advanced batteries, supercapacitors, ultrafast transistors & lasers, photodetectors and touch screens.
Increasing use as filling agents in composite materials is likely to drive demand over the forecast period. They are used as substitutes for CNT (carbon nanotubes) and clay owing to better thermal and electrical conductivity.
Graphene nanocomposites market is likely to witness an increase in demand from applications such as energy storage devices, manufacturing sensors and biomedical. In energy storage applications, they provide stability for longer duration in devices such as lithium-air and lithium sulfur batteries. They are used in biomedical applications which include bio-imaging, nanomedicine and gene & drug delivery.
The industry is still at infancy stage and graphene market price trend is likely to drop with increase in production capacity. Sheets manufactured through CVD (chemical vapor deposition) on substrates are expensive and several companies offer this product for R&D purposes. Graphenea, a Spain-based company, offers monolayer, bilayer and trilayer sheets based on substrates such as silicon, copper, and quartz.
Graphene flakes (GNFs) or nanoplatelets (GNPs) are offered by various companies to research institutes or industries for research purposes and developing commercial applications. U.S. based XG Sciences has GNP production capacity of about 80 tons and markets under the brand name xGnP with availability in powder or solution form. The company claims that their product can be used as an excellent barrier and improve mechanical properties such as strength, hardness & stiffness of the host materials.
Angstron Materials, a U.S. based company, manufactures GNP powder in thickness varying from 10 nm to 100 nm that can be used for nanocomposites, barriers, conductive inks & rubbers, heat radiation and conductive adhesive applications. Italian company Directa offers GNPs in water-based dispersions and powder form.
Graphene oxide (GO) can be combined with ceramic or polymer matrixes to improve their electrical and mechanical properties. GO functions as electrical insulator and is important to obtain it in its reduced form known as r-GO which are used in composites and energy related materials. Bluestone Global Technology offers product under the brand name Grat-GO sized between 1 um and 20 um.
Conductive inks market finds potential applications such as biosensors, touch screens, RFID tags and heating elements such as car windshields. Vorbeck Materials offers the product under the brand name VOR-INK Gravure, VOR-INK Screen and VOR-INK Flexo. Haydale, a UK based company, offers the product under the brand name HDPlas InkSc 213 which are optimized for solid contents and viscosity, ensuring conductivity and coverage.
Graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) are considered building block for devices and can find scope in applications such as photodetectors, chemical sensors and electronic circuits. In 2013, Bluestone Global Technology launched GFETs under the brand name Grat-FET which are used by industrial and academic customers. Six Frontiers was launched in 2014 with a limited volume for diagnosing diseases such as cancer which is currently used by ELISA technologies. The company is planning to enter into diagnostic & consumer health market which may require chips in larger quantities.
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