The global market for nanophotonic devices was valued at nearly $2.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to increase to $10.9 billion in 2016, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.8%, according to “Nanotechnology For Photonics: Global Markets,” a new technical market research report from BCC Research.
The global market for nanophotonic devices can be divided into nine segments: nanophotonic diodes, near-field optics, solar cells, optical switches, nanophotonic ICs, holographic memory, nano-optical sensors, optical amplifiers, and add/drop filters. Nanophotonic diodes make up the largest segment of the market, with more than a 90% share. Worth $2.4 billion in 2011, the segment is expected to increase at a CAGR of 32.7% to reach $9.9 billion in 2016.
The next largest segment is near-field optics, comprising only about 2% of the market in 2011. Worth $52.8 million in 2011, the segment is expected to increase at a CAGR of 2.3% to reach $59.2 million in 2016. While currently a very small portion of the market, the remaining segments will total almost $1 billion in 2016, nearly 10% of the projected total market.
Nanophotonics involve the interaction of light with nanoscale structures and materials. “Nanoscale” is defined as having at least one dimension measuring less than 100 nanometers, or billionths of a meter. At this scale, the properties that characterize larger systems do not necessarily apply—a fact that gives nanophotonic devices their unique properties. Recent progress in the general field of nanotechnology has created opportunities to use these materials and methods for making nanophotonic devices, particularly light-confining structures that can slow down, enhance, and manipulate light. These structures are called photonic crystals and can greatly enhance light-matter interactions. Consequently, nanophotonics as a technology can provide high-bandwidth, high-speed, and ultra-small optoelectronic components. This technology has the potential to revolutionize telecommunications, computation and sensing.
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