Microscopes are witnessing a surge in their demand on account of rising funding in emerging application areas such as nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has a wide array of niche applications and rising research and development initiatives aimed at the commercialization of nanotechnology based products is one of the significant drivers of this market. Some of the other application areas of microscopes include material sciences, life sciences and semiconductors. The global microscopes market was valued at USD 3,196.0 million in 2012, and is expected to be majorly driven by the growing number of private and public funding initiatives pertaining to the field of nanotechnology. According to statistics published by the ObservatoryNANO, the public funding for nanotechnology crossed USD 10,000 million in 2012, growing from a nominal figure in 2000. Other key drivers of this market include the growing demand for research and development initiatives, especially in the field of life sciences, requiring advanced microscopes and the surge witnessed in the semiconductors industry in emerging Asian and Latin American markets.
Growing R&D in technology-centric application areas such as nanotechnology, materials science and semiconductor industry is expected to enhance the adoption rate of advanced microscopes such as electron and scanning probe microscopes. These microscopes offer image resolution as high as 0.1 nm which is essentially required by these precision manufacturing industries. Moreover, scanning probe microscopes which are not dependent on the wavelength of light source for magnification are suitable in liquids and gases environment and can view both conductors and insulator specimens. The increased adoption rate of these advanced microscopes by precision manufacturing industries will drive the global microscopy devices market significantly in the forecast period. However, advanced microscopes have very complex instrumentation and require special and complex sample preparation techniques. Samples either get destroyed or structurally altered when viewed under these microscopes; this is expected to be a key challenge for microscope manufacturers over the next six years. Moreover, high purchasing and operating cost of the advanced microscopy devices also act as barriers for market development, as private research institutes and small manufacturing companies find it difficult to afford these high end microscopes, due to their limited funds.
Key product segments analyzed and reported in this study include optical microscopes, electron microscopes, scanning probe microscopes and others. The optical microscopes dominated the market in terms of revenue share. Its market was value at USD 1,258.7 million in 2012. The presence of a wide application area and high adoption rates of these microscopes in R&D activities pertaining to the fields of life sciences and semiconductor are some of the factors accounting for its large market share. The optical microscopes market was followed by the electron microscopes segment in 2012. Its market share was valued at 37.4% in 2012. The growing demand for high resolution electron microscopes in failure analysis is one of most significant drivers of this market. The electron microscopes is further segmented into two types namely transmission electron microscope and scanning electron microscope. In 2012, the scanning electron microscope dominated this market with a revenue share of 78.8% on account of its relatively higher resolution providing high quality magnified images. On the other hand the global scanning probe microscopes market is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. Its market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.0% from 2014 to 2020. These microscopes find wide usage in the semiconductor and electronics industry mostly for failure analysis and product inspection of miniscule features of an integrated circuit board. Several precision manufacturing industries such as microelectronics, automotive, aerospace and medical device manufacturers utilize these devices to monitor their production process to augment output and quality and curb costs.
Key application segments analyzed and reported in this study include semiconductors, life sciences, material sciences, nanotechnology and others. The microscopes market for the semiconductors industry dominated the market with a revenue share of 29.1% in 2012. The indispensable use of microscopes in this industry for research and development, inspection and manufacturing and the rapid growth of the consumer electronics segment are two of the highest growth rendering drivers of this market. However, the nanotechnology applications are expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 15.1% from 2014 to 2020. The presence of initiatives such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and the growing number of R&D initiatives targeted at the use of nanotechnology as a discovery and manufacturing tool are some of the drivers of this market. In 2012, the U.S. government diverted approximately USD 1.8 billion towards the NNI initiative.
Microscopes market revenue share by applications, 2012
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North America dominated the market in 2012 with a revenue share of 35.4%. The presence of extensive funding initiatives and research and development initiatives pertaining to the fields of semiconductors, nanotechnology and life sciences are some of the factors attributing to its large market share. Moreover, high usage of microscopes by non-commercial establishments such as universities and research laboratories will serve this market as drivers. Asia Pacific however is expected to outgrow the North American market in terms of CAGR during the forecast period. Rapidly growing industrialization rates in countries such as China and the presence of extensive nanotechnology related R&D investments are some of the major drivers of this market. According to ObservatoryNANO Public Funding 2012, China surpassed the U.S. in terms of public funding for nanotechnology in 2011. Chinese public funding in nanotechnology was recorded to be USD 2,388.8 million, experiencing an annual growth rate of approximately 20% from 2010. Europe is another attractive regional market for industry participants. It attributes its position to high investment for research and development by pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies.
The global optical microscopes market is oligopolistic in nature, with low inter-segment competition. The market is also highly concentrated within each product segment, with a few companies catering to over 80% of the total product demand. Market players such as Olympus Corporation, Nikon Corporation, Leica Microsystems and Carl Zeiss accounted for more than 90% of the market in 2012. Moreover, the electron microscopes market was dominated by Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and JEOL Limited with market shares of 32.5% and 28% respectively in 2012.