NanoMarkets provides market research and industry analysis of opportunities within advanced materials and emerging energy and electronics markets
January 01, 2010 Category: Smart Technology
Improved energy storage is a key requirement for the deployment of the much touted Smart Grid. There are many reasons for this. One is that efficiently integrating solar and (especially) wind power into the grid requires buffering, since these renewable energy sources produce energy best only at certain times. Another reason is that Smart Grids are intended to be highly resilient so stored energy for times of peak demand and network outages is critical to building the new infrastructure.
January 01, 2010 Category: Advanced Materials
Carbon materials have been an important part of electronics throughout the industry's history. But far from being a stagnant class of materials, new developments in carbon materials are poised to make dramatic performance improvements in the applications that use them and to enable completely new applications. Eventually, these new classes of materials may even revolutionize the electronics industry as we know it.
December 01, 2009 Category: Smart Technology
The U.S. and other developed nations are currently proposing and implementing numerous policy initiatives intended to bring forth a "smart grid" for their electrical systems. However, current terminology is not entirely appropriate to what they have in mind because electrical systems have long incorporated both smart and non-so-smart technologies. Contemporary electronics and telecommunications already bear key responsibilities for the reliable and economical operation of regional grids. In fact, their roles have steadily expanded as loads have grown, non-utility generators have proliferated and growing markets expand the geographic range of utilities' power supply options.
As the current generation of power grids approach the end of their useful life, public and private institutions are calling for the construction of new grids--a Smart Grid that incorporates new technologies to allow for affordable and efficient power supply and the integration of power generated from renewable energy sources. The vision of the Smart Grid, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy in its Grid 2030 vision, is "a 21st century electric system that connects everyone to abundant, affordable, clean, efficient, and reliable electric power anytime, anywhere."
November 01, 2009 Category:
The OLED materials market is the invisible foundation sitting beneath the more prominent OLED industry. The darling of the technology press for the past decade, OLEDs hold forth the promise of thinner, lighter, brighter, and more efficient displays. Yet the industry remains a vexing contradiction, with well-established applications on the one hand, but on the other hand with applications that seem to remain forever out of sight over the horizon, just tantalizingly out of reach.
November 01, 2009 Category: Renewable Energy
As the photovoltaic (PV) industry has grown over the past decade, the thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) segment of that industry--and with it, the volumes of the materials used by it--has experienced even more rapid growth. And while the recession of 2008-2009 has certainly set things back a bit, this segment is poised to resume significant growth and even to surpass conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV in volume over the next several years.
October 01, 2009 Category:
There is a general consensus that the current grid is not sufficient in terms of efficiency, reliability, security, and its environmental impact to supply the electrical power needs of our modern society. One solution is to upgrade to a smart grid, the development of which presents many opportunities. While there are several competing technologies that can store electricity (pumped hydro, compressed air, flywheel, chemical storage, ultracapacitor, superconducting magnetic), NanoMarkets believes that the most exciting opportunities from smart grids will come from materials and systems applications of chemical batteries and ultracapacitors.
October 01, 2009 Category: Smart Technology
There is a general consensus that the current power grid is reaching its limitations and that smart-grid technology will be needed to increase efficiency, reliability, and security, as well as to reduce the environmental impact of supplying the electrical power needs of modern society. The development of such a smart grid presents many materials opportunities, one of which lies in the sensors market. NanoMarkets believes that sensors will be a key enabler for the smart grid to reach its potential.
October 01, 2009 Category: Emerging Electronics
Large-area sensors are sensor arrays fabricated together on a substrate, often a flexible substrate. This distinguishes them from the garden variety of sensor, which is typically a single chip or chipset. The inherent performance advantages of large-area sensors are the same as any other array. First, there is the extra redundancy because the failure of one sensor in the array doesn't disrupt the entire array. Second - and in practice more importantly - large-area sensors provide for enhanced accuracy. his may be because the input from a sensor array can take the form of an average from all the sensors in the array, thereby factoring out anomalies. Or it may be because sensing over a large area speeds up response time in some critical way. A soldier in a uniform embedded throughout with sensors that can pick up on the first trace of a deadly toxin is better equipped and more secure than one who simply carries an individual sensor device around with him. The latter may detect the toxin only after the soldier is dead.
October 01, 2009 Category: Advanced Materials
In the printed electronics industry, no other material comes close to printed silver. Besides being the most conductive of the metals, the native oxide that forms on its surface is also conductive, minimizing the impact of the oxide on the conductivity of the final film. This is in contrast to most other metals, on which native oxide films are all but unavoidable as well as insulating. In fact, all of the reasonable metallic alternatives to silver for printing have insulating native oxide films and thus silver's better suitability for forming conductive, particulate films goes beyond its higher bulk conductivity. The numerous contact points between particles--with high contact resistance due to the native oxide--dramatically reduce the conductivity of the final films of other metals, making them far less suitable for printing.