The global market for electron and scanning probe microscopes is forecast to exceed US$4.9 billion in annual sales by 2017, due to increased demand for sophisticated, high-resolution, precision imagery across a range of existing and new markets. The demand for these instruments will be driven by technological advancements in the semiconductors and electronics, industrial, MEMS, biomedical and pharmaceutical, and nanotechnology and nanomaterials R&D sectors.
The industry was adversely affected the global recession overall, especially in the semiconductors end-user sector (the largest consumer of advanced microscopes) but witnessed growth in the life sciences and healthcare.
The main regional markets for electron and scanning probe microscopes are in Asia-Pacific and USA. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market, with robust sales in Japan and China and an emerging market in India. Brazil and Russia are also emerging forces backed by increased budgets for scientific infrastructure and nanotechnology/nanomaterials research. Growth in life sciences research and electronics and semiconductors is also driving demand.