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Graphene and 2D Materials: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2015-2025

Our latest up-to-date analysis shows that the graphene market will reach nearly $200m in 2026.

Our latest up-to-date analysis shows that the graphene market will reach nearly $200m in 2026 at the material level. This year, our forecasts are more granular than ever before, covering more than 17 specific application sectors.

Why IDTechEx?

This report is based upon years of research and close engagement with the community of graphene producers, investors and users. In the past four years, we have interviewed and profiled almost all the graphene suppliers globally (>40), engaged with many investors to help them select the right company and right technology, and guided many end users.

In parallel to this, we have organised six international tradeshows and conferences on graphene and 2D materials ourselves. These commercial conferences have become the forum in which the latest innovations are announced and the latest products are launched. More importantly, they have become the venue in which suppliers and users directly connect.

We have also travelled the world extensively to attend and lecture at all relevant conference and tradeshows, giving us further opportunity to get to know the industry well. We are confident that our knowledge and insight into the technologies, markets and applications of graphene and 2D materials is without parallel the world over.

Increasingly loss of differentiation

The graphene industry experienced a massive hype in the past 4-5 years, although the hype is beginning to die down and elements of the industry have now even entered the valley of despair.

The number of companies supplying graphene has dramatically increased and now more than 35 suppliers exist. The first batch of companies formed in 2006-2007 are the furthest ahead as the majority of the new companies have little capital or revenue today. Nonetheless, the proliferation of companies is eroding meaningful differentiation all around.

The competitive landscape is further changing as Chinese players have entered the fray with ambitious nominal production capacity announcements. If validated, this will plunge the industry into massive over-capacity with utilisation rates being in the single digits industry-wide. This however is no surprise as players prepare for the volume orders that will emerge out of the undergoing qualification processes.

Substitution go-to-market strategy

Graphene's commercialisation strategy is mostly centred on substituting an existing or incumbent solution. The incumbent material is varied ranging from graphite, black carbon, ITO, etc. This strategy requires a more-for-less value proposition but graphene is yet to conclusively prove this. The prices are very high, reflecting small volume sample supply but they will fall as volumes appear.

The so-called 'killer application' which graphene uniquely enables or in which graphene has a first mover advantage is still missing. The versatility of graphene as a material as well as the sustained multi-billion-dollar R&D investment suggests that an application will be found. This is however impossible to forecast, but does mean that there is a strong upside potential to our forecasts.

Prices are still confused on the market covering a range from tens to thousands of $/Kg. This partly reflects the fact that not all graphene materials are equal. It also reflects the market conditions in which sales still mostly stem from small-volume research samples that command a high prices. Many suppliers also worry about triggering a premature commoditization. The strong downward price pressures are how intrinsic to the go-to-market strategy and several players have started to set the trend in price lowering.

Intermediary are needed to unblock the market

Graphene reaches the end application or market via an intermediary (e.g., an ink or a masterbatch). It is critical to develop intermediaries in order to unblock the market, cut down the time-to-market and reduce end user risk/uncertainty. At the same time, graphene is least dangerous to handle when it is in a stable pre-dispersed medium.

This however is not straightforward because graphene is hard to formulate or compound thanks to its large surface area and tendency to aggregate or re-stack. In fact, we believe that graphene quality - a subject of constant debate- will find meaning only at the intermediary level. At this level, the product quality will reflect the properties of the graphene as well as the skill of the compounder.

Application assessment

Graphene has an extraordinary set of properties. It therefore has potential across many applications. This is a particular risk for small poorly-capitalised company because they risk over-dosing on the diverse opportunity if they don't choose their target applications carefully.

The graphene market today is dominated by research sales although the robust sales pipelines being built now suggests that the market composition will dramatically change in the decade to come. The largest sectors will be composites, energy storage and functional/conductive coatings, although each one will be split across several sub-sectors. Graphene platelets will dominate the sales particularly as their selling prices plunge, while graphene sheets will remain a small niche that will grow only from 2019/2020 onwards.

Transparent conductive films will remain a challenging market. Here graphene sheet is a substitute that offers a less-for-more value proposition compared to the incumbent (ITO films) and other leading ITO alternatives. This will not fly in an already rapidly consolidating market.

Graphene conductive inks are occupying the vast performance space between carbon and metallic pastes. Success will come as the performance inches towards the 1 ohm/sqr target and the prices fall. This will be the first sector to convert potential to revenues.

Supercapacitors remain an unproven market as actual graphene electrodes punch well below their theoretical limit due to graphene stacking, poor surface utilisation and poor out-of-plane conductivity. It will hard to displace activated carbon en-mass, although recent commercial-level results suggest that graphene will offer a more-for-more value proposition which will work in some niche sectors.

Graphene-enabled electrodes will improve capacity retention at high discharge rates, and will extend the cycle life of post-lithium ion batteries like Si anode and Li sulphur (GO works better here than rGO). These markets will increasingly grow in the medium-to-term.

Graphene additives give rise to electrical and thermal conductivity, reduced permeation and increased mechanical strength. Here, graphene should either enable a more efficient material utilisation or a much higher performance. The former means that a higher $/Kg price can still result in the same overall cost to the user (less of a more expensive material); while the latter will enable a more-for-same or more-for-more value proposition compared to other alternatives.

Graphene will fail in transistor applications although other 2D material may have a chance (ultra-long term). Graphene will find success in some sensor types in the medium to long term. Price will remain a prohibiting factor in high-volume anti-corrosion applications for the foreseeable future.

What does this report provide?

  • 1. Investment, capacity and revenue by company
  • 2. Interview-based company profiles of 40 graphene companies
  • 3. Benchmarking of suppliers on the basis of technology readiness and medium-term commercial opportunity
  • 4. Market trends and dynamics including
    • a. Go-to-market strategy
    • b. Prices and pricing strategy
    • c. Product qualities and morphologies
    • d. Consistency and quality issues
    • e. Intermediary challenges
    • f. Current and expected product launches
    • g. Application timeline
  • 5. Ten year market segmented forecasts based volume, market value, and graphene type. The market forecasts cover 17 specific application sectors
  • 6. Overview of the multi-walled carbon nanotube industry including
    • a. Production capacity by supplier
    • b. Current applications and forecast application pipeline
    • c. Segmented ten-year market projections
    • d. Benchmarking and mapping key players
  • 7. Detailed overview of production methods including (1) oxidisation-reduction, (2)direct liquid phase exfoliation, (3) electrochemical exfoliation, (4) plasma exfoliation, (5) substrate-less plasma or CVD growth, (6) CVD growth of graphene sheets, and (7) epitaxial
  • 8. Detailed application assessment including IDTechEx insight and assessment, state-of-the-art and commercial progress, analysis of competing technologies, pricing trends and ten-year market projections for:
    • a. Transparent conducting films
    • b. Conducting inks and coatings
    • c. Supercapacitors
    • d. Silicon anode, Li sulphur, Li ion and other battery technologies
    • e. Conductive, thermal, permeation or mechanically-enhanced composites
    • f. Graphene and 2D materials for transistors
    • g. Tires
    • h. Sensors
    • i. Anti-corrosion
    • j. Water filtration

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION

  • 1.1. There are many graphene types
  • 1.2. Many ways of producing graphene
  • 1.3. Explaining the main graphene manufacturing routes
  • 1.4. Morphologies of graphene on offer
  • 1.5. Market conditions, trends and outlook
  • 1.6. General observations on the market situation
  • 1.7. Moving past the peak of hype
  • 1.8. Supplier numbers on the rise
  • 1.9. Media attention and patent publications on the rise
  • 1.10. Large scale investment in graphene research
  • 1.11. Investment in graphene company formation
  • 1.12. Revenue of graphene companies
  • 1.13. Initial public offerings
  • 1.14. Information on supplier morphology, investment & revenue
  • 1.15. The rise of China
  • 1.16. China was successful in carbon nanotubes
  • 1.17. Patent trends
  • 1.18. Graphite mines see opportunity in graphene
  • 1.19. Production capacity by player
  • 1.20. The importance of intermediaries
  • 1.21. Graphene Prices and Pricing Strategy
  • 1.22. Quality and consistency issue
  • 1.23. Graphene application pipeline
  • 1.24. Current graphene-enabled products
  • 1.25. Current graphene-enabled products
  • 1.26. Benchmarking graphene suppliers

2. MARKET PROJECTIONS

  • 2.1. Granular ten year graphene market forecast
  • 2.2. Ten year graphene market forecast
  • 2.3. Forecast for graphene platelet vs sheets
  • 2.4. Graphene market in 2015
  • 2.5. Graphene market in 2019
  • 2.6. Graphene market in 2025
  • 2.7. Forecast for volume (MT) demand for graphene platelets

3. GRAPHENE PRODUCTION

  • 3.1. Expanded graphite
  • 3.2. Reduced graphene oxide
  • 3.3. Oxidising graphite
  • 3.4. Reducing graphene oxide
  • 3.5. Direct liquid phase exfoliation
  • 3.6. Direct liquid phase exfoliation under shear force
  • 3.7. Electrochemical exfoliation
  • 3.8. Properties of electrochemical exfoliated graphene
  • 3.9. Plasma exfoliation
  • 3.10. Substrate-less CVD
  • 3.11. Substrate-less CVD (plasma)
  • 3.12. Chemical vapour deposition (CVD)
  • 3.13. Chemical vapour deposition
  • 3.14. Transfer process for chemical vapour deposition
  • 3.15. Roll-to-roll transfer of CVD graphene
  • 3.16. Novel methods for transferring CVD graphene
  • 3.17. Sony's approach to transfer of CVD process
  • 3.18. Sony's CVD graphene approach
  • 3.19. Wuxi Graphene Film Co's CVD graphene progress
  • 3.20. Direct growth of CVD on SiOx?
  • 3.21. Production cost of CVD graphene
  • 3.22. Epitaxial
  • 3.23. Largest single-crystalline graphene reported ever

4. GRAPHENE MATERIALS

  • 4.1. Pictures of graphene materials

5. GRAPHENE APPLICATIONS AND MARKETS

6. TRANSPARENT CONDUCTIVE FILMS

  • 6.1. Transparent conductive films
  • 6.2. Indium Tin Oxide
  • 6.3. Market forecast for transparent conducting films
  • 6.4. Performance of ITO films on the market
  • 6.5. Production cost and flexibility of ITO films
  • 6.6. Supply and demand for ITO films and indium
  • 6.7. Changing TCF market dynamics and needs
  • 6.8. Assessment of ITO alternatives
  • 6.9. Graphene performance as TCF
  • 6.10. SWOT analysis on graphene TCFs
  • 6.11. Performance of silver nanowire TCFs
  • 6.12. Flexibility of silver nanowire TCFs
  • 6.13. Silver nanowire TCF cost structure
  • 6.14. Silver nanowire products on the market
  • 6.15. Metal mesh TCF performance
  • 6.16. Flexibility of metal mesh TCFs
  • 6.17. Performance of carbon nanotube TCFs
  • 6.18. Useful information on carbon nanotube TCFs
  • 6.19. Benchmarking TCF technologies
  • 6.20. Make or break year for ITO alternatives?
  • 6.21. Consolidation period for the ITO alternative market
  • 6.22. ITO alternative ten-year market forecast

7. GRAPHENE CONDUCTIVE INKS

  • 7.1. Performance of Graphene conductive inks
  • 7.2. Applications of conductive graphene inks
  • 7.3. Resistive heating using graphene inks
  • 7.4. De-frosting using graphene inks
  • 7.5. Graphene inks can be highly opaque
  • 7.6. RFID types
  • 7.7. RFID antenna market figures
  • 7.8. RFID antennas
  • 7.9. Cost breakdown of RFID tags
  • 7.10. Methods of producing RFID antennas

8. SUPERCAPACITORS

  • 8.1. Ten-year market forecast for supercapacitors by application
  • 8.2. Application pipeline for supercapacitors
  • 8.3. Cost structure of a supercapacitor
  • 8.4. Cost breakdown of supercapacitors
  • 8.5. Supercapacitor electrode mass in transport applications
  • 8.6. Addressable market forecast for supercapacitor electrodes
  • 8.7. Supercapacitor performance using nanocarbons
  • 8.8. Performance of existing commercial supercapacitors
  • 8.9. Challenges with graphene
  • 8.10. Graphene surface area is far from the ideal case
  • 8.11. Promising results on graphene supercapacitors
  • 8.12. Performance of carbon nanotube supercapacitors
  • 8.13. Potential benefits of carbon nanotubes
  • 8.14. Challenges with the use of carbon nanotubes
  • 8.15. Electrode chemistries of supercapacitor suppliers

9. ENERGY STORAGE

  • 9.1. Historical progress in Li ion batteries
  • 9.2. Quantitative benchmarking of Li and post-Li ion batteries
  • 9.3. EV numbers used in this projections
  • 9.4. Electrode mass by battery type
  • 9.5. Cost breakdown of Li ion batteries
  • 9.6. LFP Cathode Improvement
  • 9.7. Why graphene and carbon black are used together
  • 9.8. Graphene improves NCM battery cathode
  • 9.9. LiTiOx anode Improvement
  • 9.10. How CNT improve the performance of commercial Li ion batteries
  • 9.11. Why graphene helps in Si anode batteries
  • 9.12. State of the art in silicon-graphene anode batteries
  • 9.13. Why graphene helps in Li sulphur batteries
  • 9.14. State of the art in use of graphene in Li Sulphur batteries

10. COMPOSITES

  • 10.1. General observation on using graphene additives in composites
  • 10.2. Commercial results on graphene conductive composites
  • 10.3. Conductive composites
  • 10.4. EMI Shielding
  • 10.5. How do CNTs do in conductive composites
  • 10.6. CNT success in conductive composites
  • 10.7. Examples of products that use CNTs in conductive plastics
  • 10.8. Young's Modulus enhancement
  • 10.9. Commercial results on permeation graphene improvement
  • 10.10. Permeation Improvement
  • 10.11. Thermal conductivity improvement
  • 10.12. Commercial results on thermal conductivity improvement using graphene
  • 10.13. Thermal conductivity improvement using graphene

11. GRAPHENE AND 2D MATERIALS FOR TRANSISTORS

  • 11.1. Performance of graphene transistors
  • 11.2. Graphene transistor based on work function modulation
  • 11.3. Other 2D materials are better at creating transistor functions
  • 11.4. Mobility of 2D materials as a function of bandgap
  • 11.5. Suitability of 2D materials for large-area flexible devices
  • 11.6. Effect of growth method on mobility

12. TIRES

  • 12.1. Graphene as additive in tires
  • 12.2. Progress on graphene-enabled bicycle tires
  • 12.3. Carbon black in tires
  • 12.4. Black carbon in car tires
  • 12.5. There are many types of black carbon
  • 12.6. CNT and graphene are the least ready emerging tech for tire improvement
  • 12.7. Results on use of graphene in silica loaded tires
  • 12.8. Comments on CNT and graphene in tires
  • 12.9. Total addressable market for graphene in tires

13. SENSORS

  • 13.1. Graphene GFET sensors
  • 13.2. Fast graphene photosensor
  • 13.3. Graphene humidity sensor
  • 13.4. Optical brain sensors using graphene
  • 13.5. Graphene skin electrodes
  • 13.6. Wearable stretch sensor using graphene

14. OTHER APPLICATIONS

  • 14.1. Anti-corrosion coating
  • 14.2. Water filtration
  • 14.3. Lockheed Martin's water filtration
  • 14.4. Graphene-enhanced condoms?
  • 14.5. Future applications

15. REVIEW OF PROGRESS WITH CARBON NANOTUBES

  • 15.1. Carbon nanotubes - the big picture
  • 15.2. Carbon nanotubes are more mature than graphene
  • 15.3. Carbon nanotubes prices are falling
  • 15.4. Already commercial applications of CNTs
  • 15.5. Application Timeline
  • 15.6. Production capacity of carbon nanotubes
  • 15.7. Loss of differentiation in CNTs
  • 15.8. Differentiating between CNTs and graphene
  • 15.9. Will the CNT industry consolidate?
  • 15.10. Player dynamics in the CNT business
  • 15.11. Ten-year market forecast for MWCNTs

16. COMPANY INTERVIEWS

  • 16.1. Abalonyx AS
  • 16.2. Advanced Graphene Products
  • 16.3. Anderlab Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
  • 16.4. Angstron Materials
  • 16.5. Applied Graphene Materials
  • 16.6. Bluestone Global Tech
  • 16.7. Cabot Corporation
  • 16.8. CrayoNano
  • 16.9. Directa Plus
  • 16.10. Grafen Chemical Industries
  • 16.11. Graphenano
  • 16.12. Graphene Frontiers
  • 16.13. Graphene Laboratories, Inc
  • 16.14. Graphene Square
  • 16.15. Graphene Technologies
  • 16.16. Graphenea
  • 16.17. Group NanoXplore Inc.
  • 16.18. Grupo Antolin Ingenieria
  • 16.19. Haydale Ltd
  • 16.20. Incubation Alliance
  • 16.21. Jinan Moxi New Material Technology
  • 16.22. Nanjing JCNANO Technology
  • 16.23. NanoInnova
  • 16.24. Perpetuus Graphene
  • 16.25. The Sixth Element
  • 16.26. Thomas Swan
  • 16.27. University of Cambridge UK
  • 16.28. University of Exeter, UK
  • 16.29. Vorbeck Materials
  • 16.30. Wuxi Graphene Film
  • 16.31. XFNANO
  • 16.32. XG Sciences, Inc.
  • 16.33. Xiamen Knano
  • 16.34. XinNano Materials Inc
  • 16.35. Xolve, Inc

17. COMPANY PROFILES

  • 17.1. 2D Carbon Graphene Material Co., Ltd
  • 17.2. Airbus, France
  • 17.3. Aixtron, Germany
  • 17.4. AMO GmbH, Germany
  • 17.5. Asbury Carbon, USA
  • 17.6. AZ Electronics, Luxembourg
  • 17.7. BASF, Germany
  • 17.8. Cambridge Graphene Centre, UK
  • 17.9. Cambridge Graphene Platform, UK
  • 17.10. Carben Semicon Ltd, Russia
  • 17.11. Carbon Solutions, Inc., USA
  • 17.12. Catalyx Nanotech Inc. (CNI), USA
  • 17.13. CRANN, Ireland
  • 17.14. Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), USA
  • 17.15. Grafoid, Canada
  • 17.16. Graphene Devices, USA
  • 17.17. Graphene NanoChem, UK
  • 17.18. Graphensic AB, Sweden
  • 17.19. HDPlas, USA
  • 17.20. Head, Austria
  • 17.21. HRL Laboratories, USA
  • 17.22. IBM, USA
  • 17.23. iTrix, Japan
  • 17.24. JiangSu GeRui Graphene Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
  • 17.25. Lockheed Martin, USA
  • 17.26. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • 17.27. Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Germany
  • 17.28. Momentive, USA
  • 17.29. Nanjing JCNANO Tech Co., LTD
  • 17.30. Nanjing XFNANO Materials Tech Co.,Ltd
  • 17.31. Nanostructured & Amorphous Materials, Inc., USA
  • 17.32. Nokia, Finland
  • 17.33. Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • 17.34. Power Booster, China
  • 17.35. Quantum Materials Corp, India
  • 17.36. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), USA
  • 17.37. Rice University, USA
  • 17.38. Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, USA
  • 17.39. Samsung Electronics, Korea
  • 17.40. Samsung Techwin, Korea
  • 17.41. SolanPV, USA
  • 17.42. Spirit Aerosystems, USA
  • 17.43. Sungkyunkwan University Advanced Institute of Nano Technology (SAINT), Korea
  • 17.44. Texas Instruments, USA
  • 17.45. Thales, France
  • 17.46. University of California Los Angeles, (UCLA), USA
  • 17.47. University of Manchester, UK
  • 17.48. University of Princeton, USA
  • 17.49. University of Southern California (USC), USA
  • 17.50. University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • 17.51. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

IDTECHEX RESEARCH REPORTS AND CONSULTING

FIGURES

  • 17.1. The amount of composite materials used in recent airbus planes
  • 17.2. The amount of structural weight of composites used in planes, in %, as a function of year
  • 17.3. Effect of different nanomaterials in resin fracture toughness
  • 17.4. Locations and products of Cambridge Graphene Platform
  • 17.5. Improvement formulation with addition of GRIDSTM 180
  • 17.6. Schematic of the epitaxial process used to grow graphene
  • 17.7. Hotmelt-Prepreg-Production
  • 17.8. LM graphene synthesis and processing R&D
  • 17.12. The difference between dispersible graphene and non-redispersible graphene
  • 17.13. Silicon carbide wafer
  • 17.18. Comparison of carbon fibre and graphene reinforcement
  • 17.19. Making graphene supercapacitors
  • 17.20. High-performance laser scribed graphene electrodes (LSG)
  • 17.21. Graphene supercapacitor properties
  • 17.22. Flexible, all-solid-state supercapacitors
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