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News

Assessing the real opportunity for graphene in a fragmented market

ID TechEx : 16 March, 2014  (Technical Article)
Graphene has enormous commercial potential. Its growth however is being hampered by two factors. First is the fact that there is market confusion and uncertainty across the different types of graphene and different manufacturing processes. The second is that, in many cases, graphene is attempting to do what already commercially exists, only a little bit better and/or a little bit cheaper (if the volumes are achieved).
These are items that graphene-live-europe" target="_blank">Graphene LIVE!  will address on 1-2 April in Berlin Germany. This event is about addressing opportunities from a commercial perspective.
 
Attendees will develop a comprehensive yet detailed understanding of the state of technology and market per graphene application area. The conference will cover all promising applications of graphene, including graphene composites, supercapacitors and batteries, functional inks, logic and memory, touch screens, sensors and bio-electronics and beyond.
 
Speakers at the conference and the optional masterclasses will appraise the different manufacturing options – showing how they compare in terms of cost and type of graphene produced, and the markets those are suited for.
 
Critically, attendees will also see how graphene fits in to related enabling technologies – helping delegates to assess the real opportunity.
 
For sector forecasts and supplier appraisals, see the IDTechEx report Graphene Markets, Technologies and Opportunities
 
 
 
Graphene promises to offer the best possible material properties in many applications. Its extraordinary performance has led many to call it a "superlative" or "wonder" material. The reality however is different and this report diligently separates hype from reality using our detailed understanding of the graphene technology and industry.
 
IDTechEx forecasts that $100 million of graphene will be sold in 2018 into a range of applications, including RFID, smart packaging, supercapacitors, composites, ITO replacement, sensors, logic and memory.
 
For each market segment, the forecasts are provided by both value and mass. The forecast models are based on (a) our detailed market knowledge at application level, (b) our critical assessment of graphene's value proposition per target market, and (c) existing and projected commercial activity at company level. The knowledge base was built up by interviewing relevant players across the industry and tracking and interpreting the latest around the globe.
 
There is no single graphene, but there are different types of graphene. Each type has a different microstructure, layer number, oxygen content, etc. And each type offers a different set of properties therefore targeting a different set of markets.
 
Graphene can be manufactured using a variety of techniques. IDTechEx critically assesses the potential volume production capability, cost structure, and graphene quality for each technique: mechanical micro-cleavage, chemical vapour deposition, liquid-phase exfoliation, oxidisation-reduction and various plasma approaches.
 
The value proposition of each type of graphene for each target market is critically assessed. Beyond R&D, the markets examined include high-performance composites, smart packaging, RFID, energy storage including supercapacitors and lithium ion batteries, sensors, touch screens and other ITO replacement opportunities. For each application, the state of technology development and approximate market development time scale is determined.
 
For each market segment, the main go-to-market strategies are presented and analysed. Where appropriate, the incumbent and emerging rival materials are identified and examined. These materials include carbon black, carbon fibre, graphite, carbon nanotubes, silver nanowires, ITO, silver flakes, copper nanoparticles, aluminium, silicon, GaAs, ZnO. In many cases, graphene-enabled performance premiums are evaluated. These give space for premium pricing.
 
A critical link between the manufacturing technique, graphene quality, and accessible potential target markets is established. This way, companies can be sorted by their size and maturity of potential addressable target markets.
 
Detailed company profiles are provided. In many cases, the profiles are compiled using direct interviews with decision-makers within the companies. For each company, detailed insight is given into their state of the technology, target markets, assets and business strategy, building an overall picture of the emerging graphene industry, from an investment and revenue prospective.
 
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