Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials – Markets and Industrial Applications

Matthias R. Werner 

Nano and Micro Technology Consulting (NMTC), Soorstr. 86, Berlin 14050, Germany


Nanotechnology is gaining more and more interest even in the financial community. From a commercial point of view nanomaterials and nanotools - that cover for example analytical instruments and to some extent, equipment for the semiconductor industry are already in the market or have the best opportunity to be commercialized soon. Also in the automotive industry nanotechnology plays an increasingly important role. These are including production processes, scratch resistant lacquers, filler materials for the reinforcement of plastics, filler materials for tires as well as electronic components.

At the beginning of the value chain are clearly materials. A good example currently for rapid development are carbon nanotubes. The success or failure of carbon nanotubes depends on their market applications. Carbon nanotubes could play a pivotal role in the upcoming nanotechnology age if their remarkable electrical and mechanical properties can be successfully exploited in products. Nanotubes offer significant advantages over most existing materials such as carbon fibers. Mass market applications may include reinforcement of polymer nanocomposites and field emission displays. Nanotube molecules might line up to form a light, strong wire or a composite that could be unbeatable as a material for making lightweight vehicles. The potential figures of merit may be realistic but in terms of cost products derived from carbon nanotubes are up to now commercially unattractive. However, recent developments herald a technology breakthrough which could allow mass production of carbon nanotubes.

In general, the term nanotechnology is badly defined and useful market figures – with a few exceptions – do not exist so far.

In this presentation, some market figures in the nanotechnology area will be discussed. Selected nanotechnology companies as well as their products will be presented from a market perspective. A special focus of the talk will be on the nanomaterials sector.


Presentation: Invited at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007, Acta Materialia Gold Medal Workshop, by Matthias R. Werner
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007

Submitted: 2007-06-24 12:37
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44