The world microscopes market, encompassing optical (light), confocal, electron and scanning probe microscopes, generated an estimated $5.6billion in revenues in 2010. The market is expected to grow to over $9billion by 2017. Increased government and corporate funding in life sciences, materials research and nanotechnology is leading to sustained growth in microscopy. Optical microscopes currently account for the majority of the microscopy market but will lose market share to electron and scanning probe microscopes in the coming years. The largest end user market for microscopy is semiconductors, followed by life sciences, and nanotechnology and nanomaterials research.
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. Electron and Scanning Probe are the fastest growing microscopy markets.
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.