There is some good news:
• High silver commodity prices over $30 per troy ounce are a relatively recent phenomenon that will—at the margin—encourage more customers to switch to higher-performance nanosilver. High silver commodity prices have narrowed the cost-in-use gap between nanosilver and silver in a meaningful way, even though more can be done.
• Today, a large fraction of nanosilver ink costs is still tied up in processing, scale-up, and production costs, and these costs should decline further as the material matures.
• There is growth in high-resolution printing inks, especially in emerging printed electronics, where traditional silver pastes are generally not suitable. High resolution printing is tailor-made for nanosilver, and these new applications may be able to support nanosilver’s higher price, at least for a few more years.
In this new market, nanosilver inks (and nanosilver pastes) may finally have a chance to grow beyond niche status, although this is a long way from saying they are going to be big business. After years of watching not much happen in the nanosilver inks business NanoMarkets now believes that only modest growth will come from this segment until some clear advantage of application emerges in the marketplace. For the time being, nanosilver firms have done just about all they can do in terms of market development; they are going to have to wait until the silver ink users catch up!