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Graphene Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2014-2024

"Graphene markets will grow from around $20 million in 2014 to more than $390 million in 2024."

Graphene markets will grow from around $20 million in 2014 to more than $390 million in 2024 at the material level. The market will be split across many application sectors; each attracting a different type of graphene manufactured using different means. The market today remains dominated by research interest but the composition will change as other sectors such as energy storage and composites grow. The value chain will also transform as companies will move up the chain to offer intermediary products, capturing more value and cutting the time to market and uncertainty for end users.

IDTechEx has been closely tracking the graphene market for over two years. It has formally interviewed and profiled more than 25 key players and end users. At the same time, IDTechEx has organised three leading conference on the topic, bringing together key players and learning the latest information first hand. IDTechEx has visited numerous other conferences and has compiled profiles on another 50 companies and organisations. Finally, IDTechEx has carried out many consultancy projects on the topic, giving it strong strategic insights.

Graphene market (US$ million)

Source: IDTechEx

Interest in graphene remains strong. Companies on the market multiply every year and academic investment continues to pour in. For example, the European Union has committed 1 billion Euros over a decade to research on graphene and other 2D materials, while the Korean and UK governments have each, respectively, committed at least $40 and £24 million in the past two years. At the same time, several graphene companies have floated on the public markets, fetching large valuations and therefore demonstrating the continued appetite for investment in graphene. IDTechEx counts approximately $60 million of investment in private graphene companies over the years.

Graphene is still in search of its killer application that delivers a unique value proposition or a first mover advantage. In the absence of such applications, the commercialisation process remains a substitution game. This is not meritless as graphene can target a broad spectrum of applications including energy storage, composites, functional inks, electronics, etc. The value proposition of graphene, the competitive landscape, the technical requirements, and the likely graphene manufacturing techniques will be different for each sector, resulting in market fragmentation. Therefore, the graphene market will in fact grow to consist of multiple subsets.

Functional inks are technologically the lowest hanging fruit for graphene suppliers. These inks offer low temperature processing, compatibility with several printing processes, and also ruggedness. They however occupy an awkward position in the conductivity ladder. They sit many orders of magnitude below metallic inks and pastes (silver and copper) but just above carbon paste. They must therefore identify sectors where metallic inks/pastes grossly overshoot the market requirements or sectors where carbon pastes just undershoot. The main target applications are RFID and smart packaging. These markets are characterised by low material consumption per unit therefore high volume adoption is needed to generate profitable operations. A potential differentiation from carbon paste can come in the form of transparency, which is fast being developed.

Energy storage is a very attractive target market for graphene. Supercapacitor is a high-growth sector. IDTechEx expects this market to register a 30% CAGR over the coming decade. Graphene may deliver value here thanks to high surface-to-volume ratio and early laboratory results, although technical hurdles that prevent utilisation of the full surface and in-plane conductivity remain. At the same time, activated carbon remains well-entrenched with prices as low as 5 $/Kg. There is however much interest and work behind the scenes and we expect the market to grow rapidly after 2019. Several products have also been launched to target the Li ion market, which is an attractive sector thanks to its sheet size. Here, benchmarking performance is more difficult owing to the multiplicity of chemistries and designs of Li ion batteries.

The transparent conductive film market is a also large and growing market. ITO films remain the dominant solution on the market and leaders here are ramping up the production capacity. The market however is transforming thanks to new entrants and also drivers such as growing needs for ultra-low sheet resistance, mechanical robustness and lower prices. Many alternatives are emerging including silver nanowires, metal mesh, PEDOT, and carbon nanotubes. Graphene can also be a transparent conductor but its performance is at best on a part with ITO on film, and is therefore not positioned to benefit from industry trends unless major innovation happens on the production side particularly around the CVD transfer process. Other electronic markets such as transistors are out of reach for graphene due to the absence of a bandgap.

The composite sector is also large and fragmented with many needs. Here, graphene can deliver value as an additive. Here, graphene nanoplatelets will be used. A strong point for graphene is that it can create multi-functionality. In other words, it can help increase electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, impermeability, mechanical strength, etc. A key value add will be achieving the equivalent of, or better than, what graphite or black carbon can do with much less material usage. The lower %wt will also enable a slight room for premium charging

The report provides the following:

  • 1. A comprehensive and quantitative technology assessment covering all the main manufacturing techniques, highlighting key challenges and unresolved technical hurdles, and the latest developments
  • 2. Ten-year forecasts at the material level segmented by application
  • 3. Detailed breakdown of company revenues and investments
  • 4. Detailed sector by sector market assessment outlining the addressable market size (where relevant) and assessing graphene's existing and potential value proposition vis-à-vis competition (ITO, graphite, activated carbon, silver nanowires, black carbon, metallic inks, etc)
  • 5. Competitive landscape listing all the major competitors and their production technique and key products
  • 6. Strategic insights on the state of the industry and key trends/drivers

Table of Contents


  • 1.1. Ideal graphene vis-à-vis reality
  • 1.2. Attributes of graphene manufacturing techniques
  • 1.3. The state of the industry and best way going forward
  • 1.4. Markets overview and forecasts
  • 1.5. Players


  • 2.1. What is graphene?
  • 2.2. Why is graphene so great?





  • 6.1. Who will be the winner in the graphene space?



  • 8.1. Manufacturing details- process, material set, scalability, cost, quality, etc
  • 8.2. Reduction methods
  • 8.3. Assessment and market view
  • 8.4. Companies
  • 8.5. Pros and cons


  • 9.1. Manufacturing details- process, material set, scalability, cost, quality, etc
  • 9.2. Transfer
  • 9.3. Latest developments
  • 9.4. Substrate-less CVD
  • 9.5. Assessment and market view
  • 9.6. Companies
  • 9.7. Pros and cons


  • 10.1. Manufacturing details- process, material set, scalability, cost, quality, etc
  • 10.2. Assessment and market view
  • 10.3. Companies
  • 10.4. Pros and cons


  • 11.1. Manufacturing details- process, material set, scalability, cost, quality, etc
    • 11.1.1. Plasma Approach I
    • 11.1.2. Plasma Approach II
  • 11.2. Assessment and market view
  • 11.3. Companies
  • 11.4. Pros and cons


  • 12.1. Graphene markets- target markets, go-to-market strategy, the interplay between manufacturing technique and application, etc
  • 12.2. Assessment for graphene target markets
  • 12.3. Application/product development lifecycle per market segment


  • 13.1. Which applications/market segments will benefit?
  • 13.2. Assessment
  • 13.3. Conclusion


  • 14.1. Graphene- is it good for transistors?
    • 14.1.1. Digital applications
    • 14.1.2. Analogue/RF electronics
    • 14.1.3. Large area electronics- a comparison with other thin film transistor technologies
  • 14.2. Conclusions


  • 15.1. Graphene/polymeric composites
  • 15.2. How does graphene enhance the performance of polymers and composites?
  • 15.3. Which applications/market segments will benefit from graphene-enabled polymers/composites?
  • 15.4. Our assessment
  • 15.5. Conclusions


  • 16.1. Is there an added value or performance enhancement?
  • 16.2. Does graphene add value or improve performance in lithium ion batteries?


  • 17.1. Market for transparent conductive films
  • 17.2. Emerging ITO alternatives
  • 17.3. Suppliers of ITO alternatives
  • 17.4. Graphene as an ITO alternative
  • 17.5. Current uses of graphene
    • 17.5.2. Future trends and market drives
  • 17.6. Graphene does offer flexibility- is that a differentiator?
  • 17.7. Conclusions


  • 18.1. Supercapacitors- technology and markets
  • 18.2. Existing supercapacitor electrode materials by company
  • 18.3. Is there an added value or performance enhancement?
  • 18.4. Assessment
  • 18.5. Conclusions


  • 19.1. The big picture - number of tags, classifications, price tags
  • 19.2. What are the material options for RFID tags and how do they compare?
  • 19.3. Does graphene deliver a value in this crowded market?
  • 19.4. Market shares
  • 19.5. Other graphene uses
    • 19.5.1. Condom
    • 19.5.2. Water purification



  • 21.1. Anderlab Technologies, India
  • 21.2. Angstron Materials, USA
  • 21.3. Bluestone Global Tech, USA
  • 21.4. Cabot, USA
  • 21.5. Canatu, Finland
  • 21.6. Cheaptubes, USA
  • 21.7. CrayoNano, Norway
  • 21.8. Durham Graphene Science, UK
  • 21.9. Grafen Chemical Industries, Turkey
  • 21.10. Graphenano, Spain
  • 21.11. Graphene Frontiers, USA
  • 21.12. Graphene Industries, UK
  • 21.13. Graphene Laboratories, USA
  • 21.14. Graphene Square, Korea
  • 21.15. Graphene Technologies, USA
  • 21.16. Graphenea, Spain
  • 21.17. Group NanoXplore, Canada
  • 21.18. Grupo Antolin Ingenieria, Spain
  • 21.19. Haydale, UK
  • 21.20. Incubation Alliance, Japan
  • 21.21. Nanoinnova, Spain
  • 21.22. Showa Denko, Japan
  • 21.23. Sony, Japan
  • 21.24. Thomas Swan, UK
  • 21.25. University of Cambridge, UK
  • 21.26. University of Exeter, UK
  • 21.27. Vorbeck, USA
  • 21.28. XG Sciences, USA
  • 21.29. XinNano Materials, Taiwan
  • 21.30. Xolve, USA


  • 22.1. Abalonyx, Norway
  • 22.2. Airbus, France
  • 22.3. Aixtron, Germany
  • 22.4. AMO GmbH, Germany
  • 22.5. Asbury Carbon, USA
  • 22.6. AZ Electronics, Luxembourg
  • 22.7. BASF, Germany
  • 22.8. Cambridge Graphene Centre, UK
  • 22.9. Cambridge Graphene Platform, UK
  • 22.10. Carben Semicon Ltd, Russia
  • 22.11. Carbon Solutions, Inc., USA
  • 22.12. Catalyx Nanotech Inc. (CNI), USA
  • 22.13. CRANN, Ireland
  • 22.14. Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), USA
  • 22.15. Grafoid, Canada
  • 22.16. GRAnPH Nanotech, Spain
  • 22.17. Graphene Devices, USA
  • 22.18. Graphene NanoChem, UK
  • 22.19. Graphensic AB, Sweden
  • 22.20. Harbin Mulan Foreign Economic and Trade Company, China
  • 22.21. HDPlas, USA
  • 22.22. Head, Austria
  • 22.23. HRL Laboratories, USA
  • 22.24. IBM, USA
  • 22.25. iTrix, Japan
  • 22.26. Lockheed Martin, USA
  • 22.27. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • 22.28. Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Germany
  • 22.29. Momentive, USA
  • 22.30. Nanostructured & Amorphous Materials, Inc., USA
  • 22.31. Nokia, Finland
  • 22.32. Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • 22.33. Power Booster, China
  • 22.34. Quantum Materials Corp, India
  • 22.35. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), USA
  • 22.36. Rice University, USA
  • 22.37. Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, USA
  • 22.38. Samsung Electronics, Korea
  • 22.39. Samsung Techwin, Korea
  • 22.40. SolanPV, USA
  • 22.41. Spirit Aerosystems, USA
  • 22.42. Sungkyunkwan University Advanced Institute of Nano Technology (SAINT), Korea
  • 22.43. Texas Instruments, USA
  • 22.44. Thales, France
  • 22.45. University of California Los Angeles, (UCLA), USA
  • 22.46. University of Manchester, UK
  • 22.47. University of Princeton, USA
  • 22.48. University of Southern California (USC), USA
  • 22.49. University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • 22.50. University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA



  • 1.1. Summary of manufacturing technique attributes including, material sets, graphene quality, target markets and players
  • 1.2. Market forecast for graphene in different applications between 2012-2018
  • 1.3. Markets- assessment of value proposition and incumbent rival materials
  • 1.4. Graphene players
  • 2.1. Graphene vs. carbon nanotubes
  • 8.1. Different reduction techniques for oxidised graphite or graphene
  • 8.2. Comparison of graphene properties obtained using different reduction techniques
  • 8.3. Companies commercialising RGO graphene
  • 8.4. Pros and cons of RGO graphene
  • 9.1. Carbon solubility of different metals
  • 9.2. Companies commercialising CVD graphene
  • 9.3. Pros and cons of graphene
  • 10.1. List of suitable organic solvents for exfoliating graphene
  • 10.2. Companies commercialising liquid-phase exfoliated graphene
  • 10.3. Pros and cons of commercialising liquid-phase exfoliated graphene
  • 11.1. Companies commercialising plasma graphene
  • 11.2. Pros and cons of plasma graphene
  • 12.1. Primary target markets
  • 13.1. Outlining and assessing target markets for functional graphene inks
  • 14.1. Comparison and assessment of material options for thin film transistors
  • 15.1. A comprehensive table collecting and showing latest results on how adding graphene to various polymers will enhance their electrical, thermal and mechanical properties
  • 15.2. Potential target markets that will benefit from graphene composites
  • 17.1. Benchmarking different TCF and TCG technologies on the basis of sheet resistance, optical transmission, ease of customisation, haze, ease of patterning, thinness, stability, flexibility, reflection and low cost. The technology com
  • 17.2. SWOT analysis of graphene as an ITO replacement
  • 18.1. Examples of supercapacitor and supercabattery applications envisaged by suppliers
  • 18.2. Electrode material system used by each supercapacitor manufacturer
  • 18.3. Reported values of graphene-enabled specific capacitance and power density
  • 18.4. Assessing the value proposition for graphene in different supercapacitor applications and identifying key target markets. The blue highlights indicate priority applications.
  • 19.1. Different RFID bands- frequency, range
  • 19.2. Comparison and assessment of different ink options for printed antennas
  • 20.2. Ten-year market forecast for graphene at material level across a variety of sectors.


  • 1.1. Illustrating how the many manufacturing techniques affect graphene quality, cost, scalability and accessible market
  • 1.2. Estimating amount of investment in graphene companies (by company)
  • 1.3. Estimating amount of revenue in the graphene industry by company. In million USD
  • 1.4. Graphene companies having moved, or planning to move, up the value chain to offer graphene intermediaries
  • 1.5. Market forecast for graphene in different applications between 2012-2018
  • 2.1. Examples of graphene nanostructures
  • 3.1. Different graphene types available on the market
  • 3.2. Illustrating how the many manufacturing techniques affect graphene quality, cost, scalability and accessible market
  • 4.1. Mapping out different manufacturing techniques as a function of graphene quality, cost, accessible market and scalability
  • 5.1. The state of technology company development in the graphene space
  • 5.2. Latest news about graphene investment and graphene floatation
  • 5.3. Estimating amount of investment in graphene companies. Values are in millions
  • 5.4. Estimating amount of revenue in the graphene industry by company (US$ million)
  • 5.5. Mapping the link between universities and various start-ups in the graphene space.
  • 6.1. A basic illustration of graphene value chain from precursor to end product
  • 6.2. Graphene companies having moved, or planning to move, up the value chain to offer graphene intermediaries
  • 7.1. Graphene patents filed by year and by patent authority
  • 7.2. Patent filing by company or institution and by patent authority
  • 7.3. Number of papers with the word graphene in the title as a function of year based on Web of Science analysis
  • 8.1. Structural changes when going from graphite to graphite oxide and graphene
  • 8.2. Oxidisation reduction damages the graphene lattice
  • 8.3. Sheet resistance as a function of transmittance for different RGO graphenes
  • 8.4. Market position for RGO graphene on a performance cost map.
  • 9.1. CVD manufacturing process flow
  • 9.2. Example of large-sized cylindrical copper furnace
  • 9.3. Flowchart for a typical transfer process of graphene off a conductive substrate
  • 9.4. How graphene sheets are transferred and stamped
  • 9.5. Improved recipe toward clean and crackless transfer of graphene
  • 9.6. Roll-to-roll transfer of graphene sheets on flexible substrates
  • 9.7. Transferring graphene onto a destination substrate using self-release layers
  • 9.8. Transferring CVD graphene using the bubbling method
  • 9.9. A roll-to-roll method of transfer graphene off a Cu substrate onto a flexible destination substrate
  • 9.10. Production process of graphene powders using a substrate-less CVD
  • 9.11. Comparing conductivity of PPG's plasma graphene and exfoliated GNP formulations
  • 9.12. Market position of CVD graphene on a performance-price map
  • 10.1. From natural graphene to inkjet ink via liquid-phase exfoliation
  • 10.2. Liquid-phase exfoliation
  • 10.3. Market position of liquid-phase exfoliated graphene on a performance-price map
  • 12.1. Product development timeline per application sector
  • 12.2. Head tennis racquet containing graphene
  • 13.1. Ten year market forecast for conductive inks
  • 13.2. Examples of printed RFID antennas and smart packaging with graphene
  • 13.3. The cost structure of a typical RFID antenna
  • 14.1. Cut-off frequency as a function of channel length for different active channels and Degradation output characteristics of graphene transistors
  • 16.1. Graphene supercapacitors on Ragone plots
  • 16.2. Graphene-enabled performance benefit in lithium ion batteries
  • 17.1. Ten year market forecast in million USD for TCFs and TCGs by application
  • 17.2. ITO on film production capacity worldwide
  • 17.3. Optical transmission as a function of sheet resistance for ITO-on-PET sold by main industry suppliers
  • 17.4. Sheet resistance as a function of transmittance for best laboratory scale graphene derived using the oxidation-reduction techniques (it produces powders)
  • 17.5. Sheet resistance as a function of transmittance for best laboratory scale graphene derived using CVD (it produces sheets)
  • 17.6. Sheet resistance as a function of transmission for graphene compared with ITO
  • 17.7. Sheet resistance as a function of thickness for different TCF technologies
  • 17.8. Sheet resistance as a function of bending angle for graphene, CNT and ITO films
  • 17.9. Flexible graphene transparent conductive sheet
  • 17.10. Prototype of a graphene-enabled touch sensor
  • 17.11. Prototype of a large-sized graphene transparent conductive film
  • 17.12. Examples of flexible transparent conductors realised using non-graphene materials. These materials include PDOT:PSS, CNT, Silver nanoparticle, silver nanowire, etc
  • 18.1. Schematic of a supercapacitor structure
  • 18.2. Ten year market forecast for supercapacitor
  • 18.3. Graphene supercapacitors on Ragone plots
  • 18.4. Assessing the value proposition for graphene in different supercapacitor applications
  • 19.1. Examples of RFID antennas in 125KHz, 33.56 MHZ, UHF and 2.45GHZ bands
  • 19.2. Examples of HF antennas
  • 19.3. The approximate cost breakdown of different components in a typical UHF RF ID tag
  • 19.4. RFID tags growth
  • 19.5. Cost projection for antennas made using different materials (material costs only)
  • 19.6. Example of roll-to-roll printed graphene RFID tags by Vorbeck
  • 19.7. Market share for each material or ink option in the RFID tag business
  • 19.8. Benchmarking the market readiness of various nanotechnology-based water purification methods including CNT membrane, zeolite nanocrystals, ZnO nanowires, silver nanowires, TiO2 UV, etc.
  • 20.1. Market forecast for graphene in different applications between 2014-2024
  • 22.1. The amount of composite materials used in recent airbus planes
  • 22.2. The amount of structural weight of composites used in planes, in %, as a function of year
  • 22.3. Effect of different nanomaterials in resin fracture toughness
  • 22.4. Locations and products of Cambridge Graphene Platform
  • 22.5. Improvement formulation with addition of GRIDSTM 180
  • 22.6. Schematic of the epitaxial process used to grow graphene
  • 22.7. Hotmelt-Prepreg-Production
  • 22.8. LM graphene synthesis and processing R&D
  • 22.12. Silicon carbide wafer
  • 22.17. Comparison of carbon fibre and graphene reinforcement
  • 22.18. Making graphene supercapacitors
  • 22.19. High-performance laser scribed graphene electrodes (LSG)
  • 22.20. Graphene supercapacitor properties
  • 22.21. Flexible, all-solid-state supercapacitors
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