GLEN ALLEN, USA: Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets announced the release of its latest market report on electrode materials titled, "Molybdenum Markets in the Electronics and Solar Industries - 2011."
In this report, NanoMarkets identifies and quantifies the markets for molybdenum in important emerging markets including solar panels, displays and advanced lighting. In addition to covering novel uses of molybdenum itself, this report also looks at emerging applications for molybdenum compounds such as molybdenum disilicide, molybdenum disulfide, molybdenum oxide, and molybdenum-doped zinc oxide.
While this report focuses on the use of molybdenum for electrode applications, it also discusses the current and future use of molybdenum and its compounds in related markets such as heating elements and sealants. Among the firms that are discussed in this report are American Elements, Angstrom Sciences, Avancis, First Solar, GE, Honda Soltec, Kurt J. Lasker, Q-Cells, Samsung, Soltecture, Sylhan and Wurth Solar. As with other NanoMarkets reports, this report on molybdenum pinpoints opportunities and also provides eight-year forecasts, broken out by application.
Molybdenum's high conductivity and especially its ability to adhere to CIGS absorber layers has made it the dominant material for bottom contacts in the CIGS solar panel sector, a sector that is expected to grow rapidly over in the near future. In addition, NanoMarkets believes that the strong performance of molybdenum in the CIGS sector will encourage its use in other solar panel sectors; especially in the CdTe solar panels, which, to date have been the most successful of all the thin-film photovoltaics offerings.
There is also considerable R&D work currently being carried on into using molybdenum in and molybdenum compounds for OLED displays and lighting. The new NanoMarkets report notes that, although OLED technology has considerable market potential over the next decade and has received backing from the largest firms in displays, smartphones and lighting, it is still struggling to find optimal electrode materials. In particular, the OLED industry is desperately seeking electrode materials that are less vulnerable to corrosion and which can lead to higher performance for the OLEDs themselves.
While NanoMarkets believes that molybdenum will find new markets in the electronics and solar panel industry in the near future, the report also notes that much will depend on its pricing. If inflationary trends ultimately lead to much higher prices for molybdenum, solar panel makers and other users will look for ways to avoid molybdenum, with aluminum and copper serving as acceptable substitutes in the solar panel industry, for example.