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TransparentConductorQnA9_12

TransparentConductorQnA9_12

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Published by NanoMarkets
This is the transcript from the NanoMarkets Q&A session on transparent conductor markets.
This is the transcript from the NanoMarkets Q&A session on transparent conductor markets.

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Published by: NanoMarkets on Sep 14, 2012
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Transcript from NanoMarkets Q&A onTransparent Conductors
September 2012
 
 Page | 2
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.
Valerie Coffey:
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? 
Lawrence Gasman:
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.
 
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Incidentally, we think this is a relatively temporary phase – a few years perhaps – because producing ITO outside of China is not a difficult thing to do; it just takestime for the infrastructure to be set up.The second thing that I wanted to mention, and this is actually a theme that goesthroughout the report: a lot of companies who are providing alternative transparentconductors, that is non-ITO transparent conductors, have been looking at the touchdisplay market, or more specifically at the touch sensor market as their source offirst revenues. We think that makes a lot of sense, but what we’re seeing right now isopening up of other markets where it seems likely that alternative TCs will start tofind a market, not necessarily huge revenues, but everybody seems so orientedtowards the touch sensor market in the recent past that we think it’s notable thatOLEDs and flexible displays are now becoming a reality, and OLEDs in particularstand a chance of being a relatively dominant display technology, and lightingtechnology going forwards.The third thing I want to mention is that for much of the time that we’ve been puttingout this report – and we’ve been providing coverage of transparent conductors forabout six years – a number of nanomaterials, particularly those based on silver andcarbon nanotubes, have been proposed as alternatives to more traditionaltransparent conductors. In the last year or more, it seems like silver-basedtransparent conductors have taken off, whereas carbon-nanotube conductors stillseem to be developing. We’ll talk about that in some detail later on.The three things that we’ve emphasized in this report: the relatively new Chineserole in the ITO business, as opposed to just the indium business; new kinds ofdisplays; and the rise of silver.
VC:
Interesting, thank you.
Can you give us some estimates on how you’re valuing the transparent-conductor market this year and how you see it growing in the next few years? 
LG:
Yes. Again, I’d emphasize that ITO is such a big chunk of it that it’s very easy tocome up with huge numbers, and we think our numbers are accurate. Just quotingthem on their own – and I’ll show you what I mean in a minute – is verging on thedishonest.We think that the total transparent-conductor market this year will be about $3.9billion and that it will grow to around $6.9 billion by about 2016 and go on growing. Afew things you need to know about that: first of all, the portion of that addressable bythe non-standard conductors, and the reason why everybody gets excited bytransparent conductors is it’s clear that some new alternatives present marketopportunities for a number of firms. We think this year that out of that $3.9 billion,only about $230 million will be alternatives. Although I don’t have the numbers in

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