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Alternatives to Silver Inks
NanoMarkets predicts that by 2015, 184.5 million ounces of silver will be used by the electronics industry (see report, Silver Inks and Pastes for Printable Electronics: 2008-2015). This isn't surprising, given that silver is more conductive than copper, gold or any other element; even its oxide is conductive. Unfortunately, silver prices often reflect demands completely unrelated to availability, causing squeamishness among industrial users. Read more »
Advances in technology, a greater awareness of "green" issues, and increasing government support are helping to drive growth for photovoltaics (PV) built directly into building materials of commercial and residential buildings. NanoMarkets expects this type of integration, called building integrated PV (BIPV), to grow substantially, from $528.5 million in 2008 to about $8.2 billion by 2015. (see NanoMarkets report, Building Integrated Photovoltaics Markets: 2008-2015.) Read more »
Solar power has come a long way since its origins as a niche technology for satellites, finding its way into a wide range of large and small power generation applications. This range of applications is what makes photovoltaics unique among alternative energy technologies, most of which can only succeed by incorporating themselves into the existing power infrastructure. Biofuel-fired generators and concentrated solar thermal power are most efficient in large, centralized generation facilities. Wind resources tend to be most abundant in remote locations. Read more »
Over the last decade, portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, mp3 players, PDAs and laptop computers have proliferated at a spectacular rate. Compact rechargeable batteries have been fundamental to the success of these products. So have increasingly powerful microchips, whose capacity has continued to observe the exponential growth described by Moore's Law. Unfortunately, the energy density of batteries has not. Read more »
Touch-screen technology, already widespread in applications ranging from PDAs to checkout displays, has become even more popular since the introduction of novel consumer electronics such as Apple's iPhone and follow-on clones. According to a report published by NanoMarkets, The Future of ITO: Transparent Conductor and ITO Replacement Markets, March 2008, as much as $118 million in transparent conductor will be sold into the touch-screen market in 2008, rising to $400 million by 2015. Read more »
Until recently, analyses of the photovoltaic industry tended to lump all thin film technologies together. And until recently, this view made sense. Wafer-based silicon technologies accounted for more than 90 percent of the total market. Thin film silicon accounted for almost all of the rest, with other technologies little more than rounding error. Read more »