Silver Inks and Pastes


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Silver Inks and Pastes

  1. 1. NanoMarkets Silver Inks and Pastes Markets--2011 Nano-301 Published December 2010 © NanoMarkets, LCNanoMarkets, LCPO Box 3840Glen Allen, VA 23058Tel: 804-360-2967Web: NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  2. 2. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netEntire contents copyright NanoMarkets, LC. The information contained in this report is basedon the best information available to us, but accuracy and completeness cannot beguaranteed. NanoMarkets, LC and its author(s) shall not stand liable for possible errors of factor judgment. The information in this report is for the exclusive use of representativepurchasing companies and may be used only by personnel at the purchasing site per salesagreement terms. Reproduction in whole or in any part is prohibited, except with the expresswritten permission of NanoMarkets, LC. NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  3. 3. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netSilver Inks and Pastes - 2011 (link to the report)About the Report:NanoMarkets has been tracking the silver inks and pastes market for five years and is Page | 1considered the premier supplier of business information to this sector of the printedelectronics business. This report provides an entirely new look at the state of the silver inksand pastes industry in which we consider the impact of the ongoing worldwide economicproblems and changing silver prices, along with the latest trends in the various applicationssectors into which silver inks and pastes are sold. We have also expanded coverage from lastyear in a number of ways including more about both silver ink applications and the companiesthat produce them.With all this in mind we take an entirely fresh look in this report at what the suppliers of silverinks are doing both in terms of how they are adapting their product ranges to the currentmarket environment and the market strategies that they plan to employ in the future. Oneparticular area of focus for us here is the future of nanosilver and other high-value inks. Theseproducts have now been available for several years and their theoretical advantages are wellunderstood. Yet the market for such products has never seemed to take off in the way thatsome advocates of these inks hoped they might. Is this because of inadequate formulations?Or immature applications? Are nanosilver inks a product with a commercial future?In this report, we also take a much closer look than ever before at the applications for silverinks and pastes. In particular, we examine the latest developments in the display and lightingspace and how they are growing the opportunities for silver ink/paste makers. In addition,we have also added considerably on our analysis of the opportunities in the sensor and thickfilm applications sectors for silver formulations.In this year’s report we have provided additional coverage of the silver/ink and pastecompanies with an entirely new section on the small Asian companies that continue to beplayers in this space. As usual we have included a granular eight-year market forecast forsilver inks and pastes that reflect today’s market environment and price points. NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  4. 4. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netTable of ContentsExecutive SummaryE.1 Silver Inks and Pastes: Opportunities Despite the Recession Page | 2E.2 Silver Prices: A Great Opportunity for Specialist Inks?E.3 One Last Chance for Nanosilver Inks?E.4 Photovoltaics, Thick-Film, Plasma Displays and Lighting: The Applications That MatterE.4.1 Growth Opportunities for Thick-Film Silver: Are There Any?E.4.2 Photovoltaics: A Market in Decline?E.4.3 Opportunities for Silver Inks/Pastes in Lighting and DisplaysE.4.4 Other Opportunities: Sensors, RFID and Transparent CoatingsE.5 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink MarketsChapter One: Introduction1.1 Background to this Report1.1.1 Nanosilver: The Answer to High Silver Prices? Or Still an Academic Effort?1.1.2 Applications for Silver Inks and Pastes: Where is the Growth?1.1.3 The Silver Market1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report1.3 Methodology of this Report1.4 Plan of this ReportChapter Two: Silver Inks and Pastes: Technology and Product Developments2.1 Thick-Film Silver Pastes: Four Ways to Make Money in an Era of Rising Silver Prices2.2 The Low-Cost Supplier Option: Easier Said Than Done2.3 Could Silver Pastes Have a Rival?2.3.1 Etched Copper vs. Printed Silver: Old Technology Could Become New Again2.3.2 Copper Inks: Once and Future Products?2.3.3 Will High Silver Prices Bring a Carbon Age: Prospects for Carbon Inks2.3.4 Prospects for Carbon/Silver Hybrids2.3.5 More on Silver Hybrid Inks and Paste Markets2.4 Silver of Another Kind: Flakes and Nanoparticles2.4.1 A Role for Nanosilver Pastes?2.5 Wither Nanosilver Inks?2.5.1 Nanosilver, Inkjet and the Future2.5.2 How Do Nanosilver Inks Compete with Traditional Pastes?2.5.3 Pricing of Nanosilver Inks2.6 Prospects for Silver in Transparent Conductors2.7 Environmental, Health, and Safety Concerns with Silver Inks NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  5. 5. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.net2.7.1 Concerns about Nanosilver2.7.2 Future Regulation of Nanosilver?2.7.3 Lead in Silver Inks2.8 Significant Innovations in Ink and Paste Manufacturing2.9 Key Points Made In This Chapter Page | 3Chapter Three: Applications and Markets for Silver Inks3.1 Silver and Crystalline Silicon PV3.1.1 Prospects for Silver in the Crystalline Silicon3.1.2 Are There Substitutes for Silver in c-Si PV?3.1.3 The Silver Lining in c-Si PV Front Electrodes3.1.4 A Role for Nanosilver in c-Si?3.1.5 Is There an Opportunity for Copper in c-Si?3.2 TFPV and OPV: Silvers Future in Low-Cost PV3.2.1 Silver Grids for TFPV3.2.2 Silver in Back Electrodes for TFPV3.2.3 Silver in Thin-Film Silicon PV3.2.4 Silver in CdTe PV3.2.5 Silver in CIGS PV3.2.6 Silver in Organic and Dye-Sensitized Cell PV3.3 Displays: Plasmas Appetite for Silver3.3.1 Silver in Plasma3.3.2 Silver in LCD and Other Types of Display Front Planes3.3.3 Silver in Display Backplanes3.3.4 Silver and Transparent Electrodes3.4 OLED and EL Lighting: Printed Lights and Silver3.4.1 OLEDs, Lighting and Silver3.4.2 Bus Bars, OLED lighting and Silver3.4.3 Transparent Electrodes in OLED Lighting3.4.4 Silver in EL Lighting?3.5 RFIDs and Silver3.5.1 Silver for RFID Antennas and Interconnects3.5.2 Is Silver Too Expensive for RFID?3.6 Sensors and Silver3.6.1 Uses of Printed Silver in Sensors3.6.2 Sensors and Nanosilver Inks3.6.3 Where are the Sweet Spots for Silver Ink/Paste Makers?3.7 Remaining Opportunities in Traditional Thick-Film Applications for Printed Silver3.7.1 Membrane Switches3.7.2 PCBs3.7.3 Capacitors and Supercapacitors NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  6. 6. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.net3.7.4 Automotive Windshield and Mirror Heaters3.8 Key Points Made in this ChapterChapter Four: Silver Ink Suppliers: Analysis of Strategies and Recent Developments Page | 44.1 Advanced Nano Products (ANP) (Korea)4.1.1 Silver Nanopastes4.1.2 Nanosilver Ink for Inkjet4.1.3 Ag/Pd Sol, Ag Paste4.1.4 Our Take on ANP4.2 Bayer MaterialScience (Germany)4.2.1 Our Take on BayInk4.3 Cambrios (U.S.)4.3.1 Our Take on Cambrios4.4 Cima NanoTech (U.S.)4.4.1 Plasma Displays4.4.2 Relationship with Toda Kogyo4.4.3 Collaboration with Xaar and iTi4.4.4 Our Take on CIMA NanoTech4.5 Creative Materials (U.S.)4.5.1 Our Take on Creative Materials4.6 DuPont (U.S.)4.6.1 Silver Bearing Conductors4.6.2 Plasma TV Business4.6.3 RF Devices4.6.4 PV4.6.5 Other Applications4.6.6 Our Take on DuPont4.7 Ercon (U.S.)4.7.1 Our Take on Ercon4.8 ESL Electroscience (U.S.)4.9 Ferro (U.S.)4.9.1 Our Take on Ferro4.10 Five Star Technologies (U.S.)4.10.1 Our Take on Five Star4.11 Harima Chemical (Japan)4.11.1 Our Take on Harima4.12 Henkel Electronics (Germany)4.12.1 Our Take on Henkel4.13 Heraeus (Germany)4.13.1 Our Take on Heraeus4.14 InkTec (Korea) NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  7. 7. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.net4.14.1 Our Take on InkTec4.15 Methode Development Company (U.S.)4.15.1 Our Take on Methode4.16 NanoMas (U.S.)4.16.1 Our Take on NanoMas Page | 54.17 NovaCentrix (U.S.)4.17.1 Photonic Curing4.17.2 Our Take on NovaCentrix4.18 PChem Associates (U.S.)4.18.1 Our Take on PChem4.19 Sun Chemical (U.S./Netherlands)4.19.1 Our Take on Sun Chemical4.20 Xerox (U.S.)4.20.1 Our Take on XeroxChapter Five: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Inks and Pastes Markets5.1 Forecasting Methodology5.1.1 Data Sources5.1.2 Scope of Forecast5.1.3 Alternative Scenarios5.1.4 Pricing of Silver and Silver Inks5.2 Forecasts of Silver Ink and Paste Markets by Application5.2.1 Photovoltaics5.2.2 Displays5.2.3 Solid-State Lighting5.2.4 RFID5.2.5 Sensors5.2.6 Traditional Thick-Film Applications5.3 Forecasts of Silver Ink Markets by Ink Type5.3.1 Screen Printing with Conventional and Nanosilver Pastes5.3.2 Jetted Inks: Nanosilver and Conventional5.3.3 Inks for Flexo and Gravure: Conventional and Nano5.3.4 Inks for Transparent Conductive Coatings5.4 Summary of Market ForecastsAcronyms and Abbreviations Used in this ReportAbout the Author NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  8. 8. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netList of ExhibitsExhibit E-1: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Inks and Pastes ($ Millions)Exhibit 3-2: Specs for Nanosilver Inks in "All-Printed RFIDExhibit 4-1: ANP Nanosilver Inks for Inkjet Page | 6Exhibit 4-2: Creative Materials: Silver Ink Product RangeExhibit 4-3: DuPonts Technology RoadmapExhibit 4-4: Five Star Technologies: ElectroSperse Product LineExhibit 4-5: Henkel Electronics: Acheson Silver InksExhibit 4-6: InkTec Silver Conductive InksExhibit 4-7: Methode Silver Ink Conductive Ink ProductsExhibit 4-8: Specifications of NanoMas Nanosilver InkExhibit 4-9: NovaCentrix: Metalon InksExhibit 5-1: Silver Consumption in Crystalline Silicon PV CellsExhibit 5-2: Silver Consumption in Thin-Film, Organic, and DSC PV CellsExhibit 5-3: Silver Consumption in PV by Printing Method ($ Millions)Exhibit 5-4: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink Market: Plasma DisplaysExhibit 5-5: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink Market: Solid-State Lighting ApplicationsExhibit 5-6: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink Market: RFID ApplicationsExhibit 5-7: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink Market: Sensor ApplicationsExhibit 5-8: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Ink Market: Traditional ApplicationsExhibit 5-9: Eight-Year Forecasts of Conventional and Nanosilver Pastes for Screen Printing ($Millions)Exhibit 5-10: Eight-Year Forecasts of Jetted Silver Inks ($ Millions)Exhibit 5-11: Eight-Year Forecasts of Conventional and Nanosilver Inks for Flexo, Gravure, andOther Printing ($ Millions)Exhibit 5-12: Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Inks for Transparent Conductive Films ($ Millions)Exhibit 5-13: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver Inks and Pastes ($ Millions) NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  9. 9. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netSilver Inks and Pastes: Opportunities Despite the RecessionThe recession and slow, painful recovery have also had their impacts on the applications thatuse silver inks and pastes. With such uncertainty in the economy, risk thresholds remainsubstantially lower than they were before the recession set in, and investment capital hasbeen sorely limited. New material and application developments have been curtailed as Page | 7companies fear that a wrong move could put them out of business. This is, of course, in partthe reason that nanosilver and inkjet R&D have been slowed, but it also applies directly to theapplication areas we have analyzed for silver consumption in this report.Bearing all this in mind, NanoMarkets believes that the total market for silver inks and pasteswill be approximately $4.5 billion, which is an increase from last year due primarily to the risein silver prices. And we expect the market size for these kinds of materials to stay in thisrange for the next 8-10 years. However, this apparent stagnation in the market should not beconfused with an absence of money-making opportunities for the silver inks/pastes business.Indeed, we believe that the rather dramatic position that this industry finds itself in withregard to the silver price and the general economic condition has opened up some importantnew opportunities for agile firms in this space who know where to look for them.Silver Prices: A Great Opportunity for Specialist Inks?The rapid and sustained escalation in silver prices is creating a great deal of anxiety for thesilver ink supply chain and recent correction notwithstanding, there are ample reasons toassume that silver prices will remain high and perhaps even increase. Indeed, if the growthrate were to continue throughout 2011, silver prices could be above $75 per ounce or by theend of the year. NanoMarkets is not in the business of predicting silver or other commodityprices, but if it were to happen then we would probably begin to see long-time users abandonsilver inks and pastes for less expensive substitutes that are inferior from a performanceperspective. After all, there are already important silver ink/paste markets where cost is amajor consideration for users; RFIDs and windshield heaters are two examples.At some point an ultra-high price for silver would cause a massive decline in the industrialsilver business and with it a decline in the silver price. Nonetheless, we still expect many usersto take significant steps to reduce their silver consumption and their exposure to the highprices. While this represents obvious opportunities for non-silver paste products there arealso opportunities to better manage silver ink waste or being the lowest cost supplier of agiven silver ink product. But the real opportunity that we see emerging as the result of aprolonged period of "expensive" silver will be a rapidly growing market for hybrid silver inks NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  10. 10. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netthat replace some of the silver with an alternative material or change the geometry of thesilver particles being used in a way that utilizes less bulk silver.While these more specialist inks currently account for no more than a few percent oftraditional (i.e., non-nanosilver) inks/pastes at the present time, they could easily expand to Page | 8(say) 15 percent of all traditional pastes and inks by 2016 or so. This would mean that we aretalking here of a market for specialist non-nano inks that would grow from well under $100million to over $660 million by 2016.NanoMarkets thinks the silver ink and paste market should see this likely trend as a greatmoney maker in the next few years, assuming the silver price continues to grow. After all, theneed that we believe will arise for specialist inks is a growth opportunity in a total market forsilver inks that, as a whole, looks rather stagnant. And these specialist inks are an especiallysweet spot, because they represent an opportunity to distinguish oneself in the silverinks/pastes market, much of which is edging towards commoditization.One Last Chance for Nanosilver Inks?Nanosilver inks also play into this opportunity because gram for gram they use less silver thantraditional inks and because they are often used in conjunction with inkjet printers thatproduce less waste than other forms of printing. However, this apparent opportunity will bebalanced by the fact that—on a unit basis—nanosilver inks are a lot more expensive thanregular inks.This is a pity, because in our view, nanosilver is in need of a "strategic makeover." From theNanoMarkets perspective, nanosilver is beginning to lose credibility and we have toned downour expectations of how much money this part of the silver inks market can generate inrevenues over the next eight years.We still expect some growth, of course, but we now expect the market for nanosilver inks tobe not much more than $300 million by 2016, which would make it just 7 percent of the silverinks and pastes market as a whole. And one important take away from this number is thatthere probably isnt much room for more than two or three nanosilver ink firms. Since thereare quite a few firms in this space and some of the really big specialty chemical firms couldenter it at any time, this means that some of the nanosilver ink start-ups that have beenhanging on through the recession could go belly up or—perhaps—be acquired at some time inthe next year or two.Our disappointment in the nanosilver ink segment is based largely on the fact that thenanosilver inks firms dont seem to have made much progress in the recent past and in NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  11. 11. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netparticular seem to have few if any large users for their inks. Even given the recession, this ishard to excuse and we think that there are some intrinsic reasons for this slow progress in thenanosilver ink segment. Specifically, even when top-tier companies have offered newnanosilver inks, the risk has been too great for users to modify their processes and adoptthem in any volume. Perhaps this is why some of the larger silver ink/paste makers, who have Page | 9said that they were going into the nanosilver inks business have never actually done so.We think that nanosilver firms can and should continue to let potential customers know thattheir inks can do extraordinary things, but they need to rein in the hyperbole and focus on thehere and now. As we have noted, nanosilver inks fall into the category of inks that reduce theamount of silver, and other area where nanosilver inks can stress the practical is in the factthat they can lower the cost of processing, which in turn can lower expenditures onsubstrates.It may even be possible to continue to message nanosilver inks as an enabler of new kinds ofproducts, but to tone down the rhetoric. Instead of talking about printing nanosilverinterconnects on flexible OTFTs—a mix of several different futuristic technologies if there everwas one—the nanosilver ink business might stress niche areas that actually exist and wherenanosilver inks have obvious and immediate competitive advantages. These would certainlyinclude miniaturized PCBs and some types of capacitors. We discuss such applications inmuch more depth in the main body of this report. As we also discuss later, the continuing riseof silver prices is actually good for the nanosilver inks business, because higher raw silverprices reduce nanosilvers premium over conventional silver.Photovoltaics, Thick-Film, Plasma Displays and Lighting: The Applications That MatterAlthough there are many applications in which silver inks and pastes can be used,NanoMarkets believes that only four will matter in terms of revenue generation in the nexteight years. These are the ones listed in the title of this section. Together, these account forover 95 percent of revenues from silver inks and pastes in each of the years we discuss in thisreport.However, these four applications are expected to move in different directions with regard togrowth. We expect the traditional thick-film market to grow as an economic recoveryproceeds and (as we have hinted above) see some genuine opportunities in this segment. Wealso see some moderate size—and growing—opportunities for printed silver in the solid-statelighting (SSL) sector; a sector that has barely begun to emerge. Plasma displays are a major NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  12. 12. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netconsumer of printed silver, but are in decline as a product; admittedly at a rate much slowerthan anyone anticipated.Perhaps more surprisingly, we see the PV opportunity, which has been played up by someink/paste firms as going into decline. It has long been a sizeable segment of the silver inks and Page | 10pastes business, but has just become the largest segment. But by 2014, traditional thick-filmapplications will have overtaken again.Growth Opportunities for Thick-Film Silver: Are There Any?We think the thick-film silver market will grow during the period under consideration, but partof that growth will come from the fact that many traditional sectors that use thick-film pasteswith established manufacturing plants and procedures will find it hard to shift away fromconventional pastes. Absent a really huge increase in silver prices, they will just have to livewith higher-priced pastes. The "growth" in this sector is therefore somewhat illusory in that itreflects more of a relative lack of shrinkage compared with other sectors that use silver inksand pastes.In addition, as we have already mentioned, some real growth can be expected in this sector asthe worldwide economy returns to health. Growth in consumer electronics markets inparticular, means that more PCBs, membrane switches and capacitors will be sold. At thelevel of revenues, thick-film applications will generate $1.8 billion in 2011, but by 2016, thiswill have risen to $2.1 billion.Photovoltaics: A Market in Decline?In a sense, the PV sector represents the converse of the thick-film business in that we expectthis segment of the market to be quite adept at finding new ways to use less silver. In ourjudgment, PV is an area where development work has a high chance of success, because,unlike many of the traditional thick-film sectors, PV is a hotbed of R&D. It is also becausewhile the consumer electronics, appliance and automotive sectors that consume most of thethick-film pastes are cost sensitive, products in the PV sector are judged almost entirely onROI; so we are talking about not just cost sensitivity but cost criticality.How a reduction in silver consumption and ink/paste costs works itself out in the PV sector,however, remains to be seen. It may be an increasing adoption of nanosilver, mixtures ofsilver with a cheaper material in ink formulations, or even replacement of silver altogether insome portions of cells. Total replacement of silver isnt as farfetched as it may seem; silver isused in several places and only the front electrode fingers demand the highest levels ofconductivity, precision, and thinness. In fact, the c-Si PV industry is already in the process of NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  13. 13. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netmoving away from silver in favor of aluminum for back electrodes and copper-based materialsfor tabbing strips.There are also other opportunities for silver ink and paste firms in the PV space. We expect asignificant increase in the quantity of silver used in the front electrode fingers of c-Si PV cells Page | 11as their numbers increase and silver penetration remains high. Similarly for the silver gridssometimes applied on the front of thin-film and organic PV modules; silver will not have aviable alternative here, and TFPV penetrations will grow.Also important to silver inks usage in the PV industry is the ongoing trend of thinning thewafers used to build c-Si PV cells. Brittle silicon becomes more fragile as it is made thinner,and this will inevitably lead to broken wafers (and lost yields, and equipment downtime) fromcontact printing processes. The opportunity here is to develop non-contact printing, almostcertainly inkjet, for printing the electrode fingers onto the fragile wafers, and perhaps thetabbing strips as well.We go into more of this in our report. However, the important takeaway here is that whilethe overall revenues from silver inks and pastes may decline for the PV sector, there are stillplenty of ways to make money in this sector for ink and paste firms that know where to look.Opportunities for Silver Inks/Pastes in Lighting and DisplaysAs we have already noted the trends for silver usage in lighting and displays point in twodifferent directions. In 2011 we expect plasma displays to consume approximately $600million in silver inks and pastes making it the third largest sector of the inks/pastes market. By2016, these revenues will have slipped to around $330 million, although it will still retain itsranking. By contrast the use of silver inks and pastes in the lighting sector will generate just$45 million in 2011, almost completely from EL, with this number rising to just over $165million by 2016, with all of the growth coming from OLED lighting.As is the case for photovoltaics, there will be the opportunity for plasma displaymanufacturers to use less silver and to keep the expense of silver inks and pastes down toreasonable levels. But this wont be nearly as rapid for plasma displays as it will be for PV.Plasma displays are already mature in their use of silver and the disruptions to existingprocesses—required for qualification—will often not be considered "worth it" for thepotential reductions in ink costs, especially since the entire sector is one that is in decline. Wedo foresee some success for thick-film-like nanosilver pastes and note that the few firms thatare producing silver "nanopastes" are specifically targeting plasma. NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  14. 14. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netBy extreme contrast, OLED lighting is the one application covered in this report that providesthe classical kind of business opportunity for silver inks and pastes that has universal appeal toall suppliers: tremendous growth in consumption, going from next to nothing to half a billiondollars by the end of the period covered by this report. The opportunity here is clear.NanoMarkets recommends that silver ink suppliers quickly establish relationships with OLED Page | 12lighting producers to optimize inks for electrodes and bus bars. The OLED lighting industry isjust getting started and now is the time for the opportunity to begin a supply relationship thatcan grow remarkably for the next several years.Other Opportunities: Sensors, RFID and Transparent CoatingsSensors and RFID: Silver inks and pastes are materials with very wide applicability and thereare other opportunities for them apart from the ones we focused on in this chapter.However, it is important that for the most part these are minor in terms of revenues. Wedont expect these other applications—which largely consist of sensors and RFID—to getmuch above $200 million by 2016 and when considered in depth, they represent a veryfragmented group of both applications and potential customers for the inks and pastes thatwe are concerned with in this sector.The RFID sector is particularly troublesome as a source of opportunities for silver inks andpastes at the present time, because of the high price of silver and this is another area wherewe have cut back on our expectations from a few years ago.In last years report we expressed concern that thick-film silver was not cheap enough to allowRFID to reach the low cost targets that are so essential to the item-level tagging that isexpected to drive extremely high volumes. Even at that point, it became clear that theamount of silver paste alone that was used to print an RFID antenna was often worth moremoney than the eventual cost target. Now that silver prices have increased over 50 percentthis concern is back with a vengeance and it is even more critical that something be done toreduce the cost of printing silver antennas for RFID.But this need also provides opportunities. The opportunity to shift RFID antennas fromconventional thick-film silver to nanosilver is now, in a sense, even greater than it was lastyear, because it is now more certain that RFID cannot succeed in reaching its targets withoutit. And in this case, it is probably not enough to use nanosilver formulations that are designedwith other applications in mind. For RFID to achieve rock-bottom costs it will be necessary fornanosilver inks to be developed with cost—and little else—in mind. The opportunity for silverink suppliers is to form relationships with RFID manufacturers to develop nanosilver inks, to NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  15. 15. NanoMarkets www.nanomarkets.netdetermine how costs can be minimized, and to qualify the low-cost inks for use in RFIDantennas.For both sensors and RFID, we are talking about users that are large in number and which arewidely distributed geographically; contrast to the plasma display industry, where there are Page | 13just a few customers for pastes. Thus, in these smaller sectors it is important to find ways toimprove the access that the "little guy" has to silver inks and pastes. This is largely a matter ofmarketing and marketing channels, but we also note that some of the ink and pastecompanies mentioned in this report have begun to provide offerings for low-cost inkjetprinters that small-volume users will find more appealing than relatively expensive screenprinting equipment. And the same applies to curing equipment; small volume users will pay apremium for inks that can be cured with simple equipment. That is likely to mean thatnanosilver inks will play an important part in this strategy not just because they are generallybetter for inkjet, but also because they can be cured at lower temperatures.Silver vs. ITO: In our report, we have included a discussion of the new breed of transparentconductive inks that include silver (typically nanosilver) to enhance conductivity. These areintended as a replacement for ITO, a rather different opportunity space to the othersconsidered here and one that we dont expect to see much out of until right at the end of theforecast period; it wont be until 2018 that the revenues from these materials are expected toexceed $100 million. In the very long run they may have the potential to change thetransparent conductor substantially, perhaps even making ITO obsolete in some applications.In the shorter term, the revenues may be enough to keep one or even two small specialistfirms in profitable operation. A couple of new but minor players have entered this space inthe past year, but the "big" development has been that Cambrios has been so aggressive indeveloping, qualifying, and marketing its manifestation of this type of film. NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259
  16. 16. NanoMarkets Summary of Silver Inks and Pastes Forecasts by Application 5,000 Thick Film 4,500 Page | 14 4,000 Sensors 3,500 $ Millions 3,000 RFID 2,500 2,000 SSL 1,500 1,000 500 Displays 0 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 PV © NanoMarkets, LCTo obtain a full version of this report, please contact us at (804) 360-2967 or via email The report can also be ordered from our website atwww.nanomarkets.netAdditional Reports:Silver Powders and Flakes - 2011Silver in Photovoltaics: 2010 NanoMarkets, LC | PO Box 3840 | Glen Allen, VA 23058 | TEL: 804-360-2967 | FAX: 804-360-7259