The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global CNT market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the sales of CNTs worldwide.
The production capacities of CNTs will expand due to their growing demand. Factors such as the need to enhance the efficiency of electronic and semiconductor products, high use of CNTs in the aerospace and defense sectors, and the need to increase the efficiency of energy-sector-related devices are driving the market.
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Technavio hardware and semiconductor analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global CNT market:
- Advantages due to physical properties
- Potential to replace other materials
- Rise in production capacities
Advantages due to physical properties
The structure of CNTs is closely related to graphite, which is traditionally made by stacking sheets of carbon on top of another. These sheets can easily slide over each other. CNTs are made by rolling these sheets into a cylinder, with their edges joined. This structure offers extraordinary electrical, mechanical, optical, thermal, and chemical properties to CNTs.
Sunil Kumar Singh, a lead embedded systems analyst at Technavio, says, “Being a carbon-based product, CNTs are not vulnerable to environmental or physical degradation issues. Due to this advantage, CNTs are in high demand and are used in multiple applications such as medicine, aerospace and defense, electronics, automotive, energy, construction, and sports.”
Potential to replace other materials
CNTs have the potential to replace the key materials in some industries such as semiconductor and energy. Research centers are developing CNTs that can be used in solar cells as an alternative to silicon, which is the key material used in producing electricity from solar energy. By using CNTs instead of silicon, the conversion efficiency of solar cells can be enhanced.
“CNTs have the potential to replace indium-tin-coated films, which are fragile and expensive. These films are used in liquid crystal displays, solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes, touchscreens, and high-strength materials like bulletproof vests and hydrogen fuel cells used to power cars,” adds Sunil.
Rise in production capacities
Production capacity for CNTS for 2015 was 4,567 metric tons globally. MWCNT dominates this market space due to its low production cost and high-scalability. Whereas, SWCNT still has issues with scaling up the volume produced and reduced the cost. Techniques available for CNT production such as substrate-free growth and substrate-bound growth while deploying vapor-solid-solid (VSS) and vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) are widely adopted for catalyst-based synthesis.
Many CNT vendors are investing heavily in new production facilities to meet the growing demand from sectors such as consumer goods, electrical and electronics, energy, healthcare, automobile, and aerospace and defense. Among countries, China has increased the production of CNTs backed by high government funding for nanomaterials.