New market for silver could be worth $1.2B in electronics sector
A study being released by an advanced materials analysis firm has found that new fast growth, marketing opportunities are opening for silver powders and silver inks in the printable electronics industry.
Posted: Wednesday , 30 May 2007
RENO, NV -
A Virginia-based advanced materials analysis firm predicts that the market for silver conductive inks for the printable electronics will grow to US$1.2 billion by 2014.
In the report, "Silver powders and Inks for Printable Electronics: 2007-2014," industry analyst firm NanoMarkets said the electronics industry already consumes 109 million ounces of silver yearly in a market worth $1.4 billion based on silver prices over $13/oz.
However, because there are currently a limited number of functions that silver can serve in printed electronics (PE), all of the firms currently supplying silver conductive inks are pursuing one or more of a handful of product strategies.
These strategies include: designing inks that meet the need of specific printing technology or application (Radio Frequency Identification - RFID tags); lowering the cost of processing of silver inks used in conventional printing; implementing the printing of very fine silver lines in some graphics applications; mixing silver with other metals to change the functionality of silver inks while maintaining its high conductivity ability; using nanoparticles as the basis for silver conductive inks; and whether firms now manufacturing silver powders should also produce silver inks.
The report, which builds upon NanoMarkets' ongoing coverage of the printable electronics application and materials, discusses the strategies of leading suppliers and technology developers. These include Advanced Nano Products, Cabot, Cima NanoTech, Creative Materials, DuPont, Ferro, Five Star Technologies, Harima Chemical, NanoDynamics, NanoGram NanoMas, National Starch (Acheson and Xink), NovaCentrix, Parelec, PChem and Sun Chemical.
The highest-profile current application of silver inks is probably printing the antennas for RFID tags. Many traditional materials and specialty chemicals firms, such as DuPont, have been supplying silver inks to the traditional electronic materials industry for several years. However, the silver ink business from be moving from being a fairly specialist electronics materials business to be a key to the new industry of printed electronics, according to NanoMarkets.
"There are now a handful or so of smaller firms that now see a fast growth, venture capital-style business opportunity in silver inks," according to the report.
NanoMarkets noted that "there are likely to be numerous applications throughout the PE industry as it begins to grow. Indeed, silver links may be seldom mentioned but often used; their use being assume because of the excellent conductive properties of silver."
"Asia is playing a distinct role in the silver links business," NanoMarkets asserted. ‘The consumer electronics firms that serve as a substantial market for silver inks are mostly located in Asia."
"Chinese nanotech firms, in particular, have specifically targeted materials (rather than nano-device) opportunities and, as such may well see selling nanosilver links into the PE sector as an opportunity in the future."
NanoMarkets will be hosting a teleconference on Wednesday, June 13, to discuss its findings. For further information about the silver powders and inks report, go to http://www.nanotopblog.com/ or http://www.nanomarkets.net/