The global microscopy devices market is oligopolistic in nature with the presence of a few players. Key players in the market are: Olympus Corporation, Nikon Corporation, Leica Microsystems, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporationand Carl Zeiss. The market positioning of these companies is determined by factors such as product specifications and pricing, states a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The market faces an internal threat from substitutes. For instance, electron and scanning probe microscopes are replacing traditional optical microscopes. The threat of new entrants is likely to remain low owing to the capital intensive nature of the market and the high investments in R&D required. In addition to this, the market faces low inter-segment competition.
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According to the report, the global microscopy devices market is expected to be worth US$9.70 bn by 2020. By product, the electron microscopes segment is anticipated to be worth US$3.80 bn by 2020 owing to their ability to offer a resolution as high as 50 picometer and a magnification of up to about 10 million times. Electron microscopes find their applications in fields such as material research, biology and life sciences, industries, and semiconductor and data storage, thus driving their demand. By application, the life sciences segment is expected to lead and be worth US$2.75 bn by 2020 in the global microscopy devices market. On the basis of geography, Asia Pacific is expected to lead by 2020 and expand at a 9.1% CAGR from 2012 to 2020.
Commercialization of Nanotechnology to Create Heightened Demand for Advanced Microscopes
The rising investments in nanotechnology are expected to fuel the demand for microscopic devices as this technology requires the study of materials at an atomic, macromolecular, or molecular level. Since this technology has not been commercialized extensively, increasing efforts are being made to ensure its viability in applications in the future, which is expected to create heightened demand for advanced microscopes.
A rising focus on R&D is another factor driving the global demand for microscopy devices. R&D is increasingly being carried out in application areas such as material science, semiconductor industry, and nanotechnology. This is anticipated to fuel the demand for electron and scanning probe microscopes.
Sample Preparation and Instrumentation Complexities to Act as Challenges for Market
Advanced microscopes have complex instrumentation, thus requiring special and complex sample preparation technique. Samples get structurally altered or destroyed when viewed under advanced microscopes, thus acting as a challenge for the global microscopy devices market. Another restraining factor hampering the growth of the market is the high purchasing and operating cost of advanced microscopy devices. For instance, the price of scanning electron microscope (SEM), scanning probe microscopes (SPM), and transmission electron microscopes (TEM) is in the range of millions of U.S. dollars. Consequently, only big enterprises can afford these devices and private research institutes and companies have to depend on high federal and corporate funding to buy these high-end microscopy instruments. Thus, the premium pricing of these devices is expected to hinder the market.
Trend of Miniaturization to Emerge as Opportunity for Growth in Market
The growing trend of miniature transistor chips offers enormous opportunity for advanced microscopy devices market such as TEM, SEM, and SPM. The introduction of quantum dots (QD) technology in the semiconductor industry also holds potential for advanced microscopy devices. QD is currently being used in the Bravia television series from Sony. Rapid commercialization of quantum dots in the near future is expected to provide an opportunity for electron microscopes and SPM, for fabrication. Additionally, the trend of ultra-nano chips undertaken by companies such as Samsung and United Microelectronics is expected to generate new demand for advanced microscopy devices.