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NanoMarkets Q&A Session on Transparent Conductors
NanoMarkets Associate Editor Valerie Coffey interviewed the firm’s Principal Analyst and co-founder, Lawrence Gasman to discuss findings from the firm's recent report,
." Participants heard the firm's latest perspectives on the evolutionof the transparent conductor market and how and where NanoMarkets sees the industryunfolding over the coming years. The following is an edited transcript from the call.
Thank you. Just to introduce myself, Valerie Coffey here. I am ascience and technology writer and editor working with NanoMarkets. My backgroundis in physics and I’ve primarily worked in optics, lasers and electronics. Your newreport on transparent conductors is very interesting to me, Lawrence.I’d like to ask you first:
what were your key takeaways from your research efforts,and how have things changed since your last report?
It’s a big report and there’s lots of stuff in it. I urge the peoplelistening to take a look at it when they can. Three things stood out that were, if notactually different from what we saw last year, certainly some obvious trends thathave accelerated. I want to mention three of those.One of them relates to ITO [indium-tin-oxide], which is still the dominant factor, ofcourse, in the transparent-conductor market – and that is the role of China. Theeconomics of ITO and of indium with relation to ITO are often misunderstood andthe report addresses that. With regard to China, China is in the process of goingthrough a radical reorientation towards high value-added, high-tech products – including displays and TV. It has always been a major source of indium, according topeople who know more about indium than I do. If you take into consideration thecomplete supply, including recycled indium, the Chinese may be responsible for asmuch as 70 percent of the indium supply.But traditionally, indium has gone to Japan, been turned into ITO and then suppliedto display companies in Japan and Korea, mostly – Taiwan, too. What we’re aboutto see is the domesticization of ITO: indium in China used to produce ITO in Chinafor a budding Chinese display and PV industry where the products will becomemuch more sophisticated.The implications of that may well affect the price of ITO, but will certainly affect theavailability of ITO. That’s partly good news for people who are providing ITOalternatives and may also mean that display companies may have to move plants toChina, not as used to be for labor costs, but to guarantee supply of materials.