The world electron and scanning probe microscopes market, encompassing Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM), Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) accounted for US$328.44 million in sales in 2010. It is estimated that annual sales in 2015 will grow to approximately US$588.69 million.
Electron and scanning probe microscopy is increasingly important in materials research and development, across a raft of industries from semiconductors to life sciences. Market drivers include the increases in the complexity and performance level of devices used in electronic products, reduction of manufacturing costs, increased resolution, increasing device complexity and shrinking geometries in materials research. The microscopes market is dominated by global companies offering a wide range of products across a variety of platforms, including FEI Company, Hitachi High-Technologies, JEOL and Carl Zeiss SMT.
Trends pertinent to the scanning and electron microscope market in 2009/2010 fiscal year include:
- Continued growth in the Life Sciences and Medical Markets
- Continued growth in Asia-Pacific
- Constrained capital expenditures in LCD-related manufacturing equipment due to the economic recession
- Lower demand for information systems and semiconductor devices and decreased sales in industrial materials and electronic materials as a whole
- Tentative recovery in the semiconductors and data storage markets
- Continued market uncertainty and instability but stable growth
- Cutback in government spending has led to a slight decrease in the growth of end-user segments including clinical and research laboratories, academic and educational institutions
- The shift in manufacturing to low-cost regions and developing countries is expected to increase potential demand.