The advantages offered by thin film material in industrial as well as domestic operations, coupled with the rising demand for efficiency and miniaturization, will continue to drive the thin film material market. The growing demand from end-user industries would be responsible for the growth of thin film material market at a very swift pace in the future.
Globally, thin film material manufacturing companies are dependent on the government funding and subsidies. During the global economic crisis, U.S. and the European countries were affected the most. Many countries such as the U.S. and Germany stopped the funding subsidies provided to the thin film material manufacturing companies. This resulted in bankruptcy, closure, or acquisition of these companies by their Chinese counterparts. It also affected the thin film material market adversely causing the revenues to decline in 2013. But the recovering global economy combined with the stringent government regulation and funding from venture capitalists is estimated to provide the market with a necessary boost in the future.
The Thin Film Material Market is growing steadily in Europe, but will continue to grow at a rapid pace in Asia-Pacific. The countries such as China and Japan are the major contributors to the growing market of Asia-Pacific. The North American markets for thin film material will also continue to grow at a significant rate. The African and Latin American markets have still not realized their full potential but their growth rates would be considerably higher as compared to others owing to low base effect.
The thin film material market is highly competitive and most companies don't offer all types of thin film material. First Solar (U.S.) is a major player which has dominated the CdTe market, accounting for nearly 90% of the total CdTe market in 2012. Hanergy (China) dominated the CIS/CIGS market; occupying around one-third of the market by acquiring other bankrupt companies in 2012. Ascent Solar (U.S.), Kaneka Solar Energy (Japan), and Solar Frontier (Japan) are the other major companies offering CIS/CIGS technology. The a-Si technology is majorly used by Asian companies such as Anwell Solar (Hong Kong), Suntech Power Co. Ltd. (China), and Moser Baer (India).
Thin film materials are appropriate for high-density and high-frequency applications. Thin film materials are used for number of applications in several industries such as photovoltaic solar cells, MEMS, semiconductor, electrical and optical coating. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing use of solar energy. The market has also witnessed growth due to various governments investing increasingly in the solar industry globally. However, the shortage of raw material used for the production of thin films could pose a challenge for the growth of this market.